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Full text of "The story of the guard: a chronicle of the war. [electronic resource]"

THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD: 



A CHRONICLE OF THE WAR. 



By JESSIE BENTON FREMONT. 




" Their good swords rust, 
And their steeds are dust, 
But their souls are with the saints, we trust." 



BOSTON: 

TIOKNOR AND FIELDS. 

1863. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by 

TlCKNOR AND FIELDS, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of 
Massachusetts. 



RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: 
STERSOTlfPED AND PRINTED BY H. 0. HOCdHTON. 



"That the honorable enterprises, noble 
adventures, and deeds of arms, performed in 
the wars between England and France may be 
properly related, and held in perpetual remem- 
brance — to the end that brave men taking 
example from them may be encouraged in 
their well-doing, I sit down to record a history 
deserving great praise ; but, before I begin, I 
request of the Saviour of the world, who from 
nothing created all things, that He will have 
the goodness to inspire me with sense and 
sound understanding, to persevere in such man- 
ner, that all those who shall read may derive 
pleasure and instruction from my work, and 
that I may fall into their good graces. 

" It is said, and with truth, that all towns 
are built with many different stones, and that 
all large rivers are formed from many springs ; 
so are sciences compiled by many learned per- 
sons, and what one is ignorant of is known to 
another ; not but that everything is known 
sooner or later." . . . — Sir John Frois- 
sart's Preface to his Chronicles of England, 
France, &c. 



When this book was written, nearly a 
year ago now, it was my wish and hope to be 
able through it to get some immediate assist- 
ance for the families upon whom the winter 
was coming without their usual support. It 
was to have been issued as a Christmas Story, 
at the kindly season when " good-will towards 
all" would be propitious to my attempt. But 
various causes delayed it. Among others the 
want of a publisher who was willing to incur 
the risk of publishing what might be taken as 
a disapproval of an official act. Mr. Ticknor 
and Mr. Fields hearing of it, volunteered for 
the service, but it was already too late for a 
Christmas-book and so it was put off to a 
more favorable season. When a new com- 
mand was given to the General we hoped for 
renewed service for the Guard, and this stayed 
my hand again. Again disappointed for them, I 
have no restraining motive, but launch it now, 
taking shame to myself for deferring for any 
cause a right act. For in this, as well as in 
great matters, I do not believe that there is any 
specially appointed "more convenient season." 
19th October, 1862. J. B. F. 



PREFACE. 



"THE REASON WHY" 
[From a Letter to Mr. Fields.'] 

Because I know what it is I mean to do, 
I am afraid I fell into the error of talking to 
you this morning as though you, too, knew all 
about it. Mr. Ticknor and yourself talked 
" book," when I am incapable of writing a 
book ; sunshine puts out little fires, and I've 
known too much of those who lived, as well 
as wrote books, to pale my ineffectual fires 
by comparison. But I can tell what I know. 
I believe that those truly soldierly young men, 
worthy of a place in chronicles of knightly 
deeds, were misrepresented, slighted, and finally 
insulted out of the service, because of the name 



viii PREFACE. 

they bore. This has not altered the feeling 
with which they took that name, and we feel 
to them as toward the foremost in sharing a 
hard siege. It seems to me as much an obli- 
gation of feeling and honor to do them jus- 
tice, and heal the hurts to their just pride, 
as it would be to visit them in the hospital, 
had they been wounded bodily in the discharge 
of their duty near the General in the field. 

They were all young, many with younger 
members of their families looking to them for 
protection and assistance ; some few were mar- 
ried ; some were sons of widows ; — and it 
was an additional sorrow to find that those 
killed at Springfield comprised the greater 
number of married men and some of the 
most needed sons. 

I cannot let those mothers and wives feel 
our name only the synonyme of sorrow and 
loss to them. In the first nights after hearing 
of Springfield (the days were too busy for 
dwelling on thoughts) this thought troubled 
me. The idea of making the noble conduct 
of the Guard the means of providing for their 



PREFACE. IX 

families then came to me like an inspiration. 
It leaves no sense of obligation, and their pro- 
tection from such of the ills of life as money 
affects will be due to the same true hearts 
and strong hands that defended the country at 
Springfield. Mr. Raymond was at the piano 
while I was thinking this over, and chanced 
upon one of his German student songs, which 
so fitted to and embodied the Charge, that we 
adopted it at once as the Song of the Guard ; 
and then and there, in the midnight hours, we 
made each our contribution to this Story of 
the Guard. I had the General's letters, telling 
me very fully of the Charge and many incidents 
connected with it. Major Corwine, who was 
Judge Advocate on the staff, had the deepest 
interest in the u Kentucky Company," which 
he had mainly recruited himself; and the Song 
is from the memories of Capts. Howard and 
Raymond, who made the English translation, 
and arranged it for the piano. The Song is, 
I think, perfectly charming: — opening with 
measured, muffled, tramping minor chords, it 
breaks into the open key to be gathered at the 



X PEEFACE. 

close of each verse into one quivering minor 
chord on the word " Dying." 

Here where the war is unseen, and com- 
paratively unfelt, it is hard to make real the 
feeling with which Union people hold to each 
other in a rebel State actually at war. In St. 
Louis, the rebel city of a rebel State, where 
until September the uniform of a Federal 
officer made him at once a target, those who 
shared the chances of that earlier day of in- 
security were as one household. Disturbances 
in the city were of almost nightly occurrence. 
The house used as Headquarters was strongly 
built and fire-proof, and part of the basement 
was a regular armory, from which ammu- 
nition was issued more than once " in the 
small hours " to the Guard, for some dan- 
gerous duty in the city and its suburbs. We 
literally, and the city figuratively, slept over a 
magazine. Those were wearing days and anx- 
ious nights, but the city learned to rest in peace, 
trusting to the watchfulness of the Provost Mar- 
shal General McKinstry, and to Colonel McNeill. 
Few knew of the constant activity and perpetual 



PREFACE. xi 

vigilance of Zagonyi and the Guard. Many of 
these young men were citizens of St. Louis, and 
knew the sources of danger. As the work of the 
department became centralized, and telegraphic 
and other government records were to be taken 
care of at Headquarters, the Guard was put 
on duty inside of the house, where many hun- 
dred persons were daily passing to and from the 
various offices. 

It is smooth sailing in St. Louis now ; but the 
first company of the Guards are among those 
who remember a different order of things. 

This is to you a digression ; but I mean it to 
explain why we had for the Guard a more per- 
sonal feeling than could grow up in ordinary war 
or in the formal life of barracks. 

I will put together such material as I have, 
and leave it to you to make it successful. You 
will see it is impossible to make a regular 
" book " of it, — it is really nothing more than 
the fireside story of the Guard ; interesting 
from the facts, — interesting because in ten 
thousand homes some vacant place will lend a 



Xll PREFACE. 

stronger interest to the tale. I hope something, 
too, from the kindly interest of old friends of 
my father's. 

These young men gave their lives to save 
the State he loved so well and served so long. 
Some rest there, as he does, until the last trum- 
pet-call. 

For any personal object I should never use 
my name which has been to me a double charge 
to keep, but I think my father also would more 
than approve, when it is to do justice and to aid 
the widow and the orphan. 

Such as it is, my offering goes to make a fund 
for them, and I turn over the manuscript to you, 
relying on your experience and good sympathy 
to manage the rest. My part is to give you the 
story of the Guard, and yours is to make it 
profitable to them. If Mr. Ticknor and your- 
self will be bankers, the Rev. Mr. Eliot, in St. 
Louis, and Major Corwine, in Cincinnati, will 
see a just use made of the fund. The New- 
hall family would look up any Philadelphians 
of the Guard, — for there may be some needs 
from tedious wounds, and a wounded sol- 



PREFACE. X1U 

dier is as worthy of care as even children and 
women. But with this I have nothing to 
do. My part is to collect and arrange some 
facts and incidents, and give them with all 
my best wishes for success to the tribunal I 
was educated to believe in — a faith confirmed 
by my own experience. 

JESSIE BENTON FREMONT. 
New York, 5th December, 1861. 



THE STOKY OF THE GUAED. 



There was a time — not long ago if 
measured by months — when so quiet and 
remote was the life we led that I found 
out then who read the whole of maga- 
zines, and new books, and even newspa- 
pers ; and through this bond of a past 
experience have learned to realize that 
somewhere facts are taken in and cher- 
ished, make roots, and bear fruit. Our 
brain-rations came twice a month, and, al- 
though a month old when they did reach us, 
had about them a freshness and zest which 
had never been obtained in long city expe- 



16 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

rience. How faithfully everything - gets read, 
and how living and real the creations of 
fancy get to be in this healthy slowness of 
absorption. This is talking mysteries to 
the regular citizen who has never known 
a long interval — a good wearing interval — 
of a year or two years of genuine country 
life, which (when it's over) it's worth hav- 
ing gone through for the new perceptions 
acquired. A mental Grsefenberg process 
to one accustomed to turn only to the few 
preferred pages of some favorite author, 
and throw by the rest of the magazine. 
Where but in countriest country does one 
hear, " I won't cut the leaves yet — I've 
not finished the last number " \ Where 
else does the dreadful certainty obtain that 
there is time and to spare for loth num- 
bers ! But when the solitude and fasting 
from print begin to tell, and give the nat- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. \J 

ural flavor to simples, then comes a real 
enjoyment of reading" such as book-stores 
d discretion cannot yield. 

You are in some green solitude where 
there is no collection of books within many 
miles, — in a new State perhaps, — and you 
see it is going to rain again, or snow, and you 
have read up everything. "You" means 
a woman, of course ; a man would be glad 
of a long rain, or a snow and a thaw, that 
would give him some quiet days for going 
over papers in-doors ; but you have no pa- 
pers, and all your days are quiet, and if 
it rains, you " can't get out." You have 
no letters to answer, if you've been " in 
the country " a year ; — the term of mourn- 
ing is over for you, long ago, and the long 
letters of the first months have subsided 
into rare, — 

" I have been trying to find time to 



18 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

write you a long letter, but we've been 
so busy with this, that, and the other, 
and are you never coming - back?" 
and such like polite vaguenesses, so that 
you feel you are, to all intents and pur- 
poses, ghosts on a foreign shore. 

It is mail-day, (you have become blunt- 
ed to the fact that there are interme- 
diate days which are not mail-days,) and 
you watch, and even listen for the horse's 
feet. For your genuine country mail 
comes only within an easy ride of your 
house, and you connect by coachman and 
horse with mail-coach. There he comes ! 
You don't see the parcel. It's a small 
mail, then, and carried in the pocket. 
You rather hang back from knowing 
your fate, but it comes to you, if you 
won't meet it, and says, remorselessly, — 
"Stage couldn't cross Dry Creek." That's 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 19 

the way of Dry Creeks — not to turn a 
mill-wheel in pleasant weather, and sud- 
denly to grow into a roaring torrent in 
the course of a night. You ask in sarcas- 
tic tones, that would make Naiads wretch- 
ed, if they were acquaintances, " When 
will Dry Creek be fordable \ " and get for 
answer, " Well, if it rains, (and 'pears like 
rain, — if it don't rain by night, it's most 
sure to rain before daylight,) why then 
you'll allow they won't git over before 
next week — four or five days, anyhow." 
You know the man to be fearfully expe- 
rienced in weather-signs, and yield to the 
impassable gulf of a Dry Creek modified 
by the rainy season. 

Of course it rains; and the horrid pa- 
pers that bar you out from companion- 
ship are taken up, and silence sets in. 
So you devote yourself to toning-down to 



20 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

indoor-pitch two boys whose riotous health 
rather endangers the needed quiet ; and 
when at last they're off to bed, with a 
compliment for their good behavior, (car- 
rying off your honors !) you feel your 
mind is fagged and longing for the rest 
of fresh ideas. Being a woman, you want 
to read, in place of going wholesomely to 
sleep at early candle-light. Then it is that 
the lesser stars find their chance to shine. 
You pile on more wood, draw the lights 
nearer, and gathering all the last mail, go 
through it again. Rare, and always to be 
treasured, are the exceptional times when in 
this deep, secure solitude and stillness some 
book that was indeed a book rose on the 
night, and took its place among the things 
that are joys forever. On such a night as 
this, I read the "Idylls of the King." Not 
a human sound to break the stillness — 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 21 

the hum from the great fire of logs, 
the scraping of the oak boughs against 
the roof — the straining, rushing sound of 
the wind among the pines, and that unde- 
finable mourning wail made by coming 
storms among mountains — to this accom- 
paniment I read of rude Geraint, and 
too-patient Enid, with her brave song — 
of Elaine and her sweetest story of true 
girlish love, and the half disgust that 
might well come over Lancelot as he 
realized " what might have been " — of the 
impossible Arthur, humanized by his wo- 
ful wrongs, and brought within our sym- 
pathies by his grand courtesy and for- 
bearance — then re-reading of that closing 
scene where the good knight, having 
fought his last fight, and lying so deeply 
smitten through the helm, had yet one 
drop more of bitter held to his lips. Sir 



22 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Bedivere had the grace to repent and feel 
ashamed, but first he gave his king and 
friend one more turn of the screw — it 
belongs with Peter's weeping. The wind 
drawing through the narrow valley be- 
tween the high mountain ranges made a 
weird but noble harmony with the wail 
that rose from the funeral barge. 

But all this digression is only to show 
that out of those years of seclusion I 
brought away new perceptions, and now 
that I am back among books, having, as 
Bridget Elia says of prints, " nothing to 
do but to walk into Colnaghi's" and get my 
fill, I often remember that past time ; and, 
because I know many more read in that 
way than in the unsatisfactory surface man- 
ner one must in cities, I will venture to 
hope for this little story a thorough reading, 
with a kindly appreciation of the many 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Q3 

feelings that make its telling not intrusive, 
I trust. 

The wire-net tables at the florists, with 
their showy exhibition of stemless flow- 
ers, bear the same relation to the garden- 
beds, where their mates are yet blooming 
and growing, as the ordinary city reader 
does to those who have leisure to feel, and 
to whom I commend this Christmas-tale of a 
great deed — told in two lines in the papers 
— but bringing heavy sorrow for life to 
some, and, to all who truly love and honor 
our flag, unending pride in the Body Guard. 

And if any one should say, What, that 
old story ! I beg to answer that what De 
Musset says of Love is equally true of 
Truth : " It is never old and never new, 
because it is eternal." 

There is an English picture, familiar 



24 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

to us through its lithographed form, called 
" The Telegraph." 

It is the interior of a quiet English 
home, where mother and children are at 
their steady, calm, home occupations. 
Through the open window, over fair miles 
of field and wood, is seen a distant train. 
It concerns them not. It is rushing to 
a busy life that is not theirs. Their life 
is told by the room — in their simple 
occupations — in the portrait on the wall 
— they are to labor and to wait ; he 
serves. 

The little maid shows in the boy from 
the Station with a telegraphic despatch, 
and instantly, in the twinkling of an eye, 
there is a great change. Struck by light- 
ning as effectually as though her black 
garments were the charred remains from 
that stroke, the mother is widowed, the 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 25 

children orphaned, by the slip of paper 
in her relaxed, fainting hand. 

When in the telegraphic news-column 
we read, 

" Major Zagonyi, with one hundred and 
fifty of the Body Guard, attacked and drove 
from Springfield over two thousand rebels, 
with a loss of only fifteen men," 
some women knew that that " fifteen " 
carried a death-stroke to as many hearts. 
Prayers that this cup might pass from 
her went up with fear and trembling 
from many a wife and mother. Some 
days must pass before the fearful doubt 
settles into a worse fact. Give your 
tenderest pity to the mother who learned 
in the same day that at Little Gauley 
and at Springfield two boys, her sons, — 
and she was a widow, — lay dead. 



II. 

WHY THE GUARD WAS FORMED. 

In addition to the usual reasons for 
cavalry, the prairie nature of the country 
to be operated over, and the habits of its 
settlers, made a special need for efficient 
cavalry in the army of the Mississippi. 
In this abundant grain region, where the 
most negligent farming is amply remedied 
by the natural prairie growth of forage, rid- 
ing-horses are as much a matter of course 
as work-horses only would be on a North- 
ern farm. The rifle hangs over every 
fireplace ; between game and Indians, it 
has little rest. Given a gun and a horse, 
the inevitable result on the frontiers is a 
hunter ; if a war comes, the cavalry soldier 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Qtf 

is ready. Opposing infantry would be 
laughed to scorn by these men, to whom 
horsemanship, the country to be gone over, 
and a brave enemy, are equally familiar. 

In Missouri, this war material acquired 
something of a military organization from 
the protracted struggles with Kansas, and 
was fostered and protected by government 
money and ammunition, and the powerful 
aid of government favor. For four years 
preceding the war, government patronage 
and political honors were the portion of 
the faithful to the Southern side ; and the 
same agency made it unprofitable and un- 
popular and, in the city of St. Louis, 
unfashionable, to be with the North and 
for Freedom. 

It was necessary to form our brave and 
willing but comparatively untrained men 
into cavalry, which could not only com- 



28 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

pete with the frontiersmen and their tough 
horses in the things they knew, but, hav- 
ing other knowledge added, be their su- 
periors in any encounter. A shameful 
number of regular officers had deserted; 
those who remained were nearly all on 
duty east of the Mississippi Valley ; and 
the difficulty of officering and rendering 
efficient the masses of untrained troops 
was a serious embarrassment. 

Fortunately our adopted citizens recog- 
nized that Freedom was of no nationality; 
and the swords that had been used in its 
behalf in Germany and Hungary were 
taken down and offered to aid in saving 
its very hearth-stone, as the United States 
had seemed to them. 

Among those of whose tried skill and 
courage many incidents had been told to 
us, there was one whose particular quali- 



THE STORY OF THE GITAED. Q() 

ties and experience pointed him out as best 
qualified to form and elevate to the high- 
est standard a body of young 1 men who 
were to be chosen with the purpose of 
forming' a school for cavalry officers, from 
which, as regiments were raised, instructed 
officers could be taken : and which could be 
at the same time the nucleus for a regiment 
itself. The long residence of many Hunga- 
rian officers in our midst has brought home 
to us many incidents of their brave struggle; 
and one, among others, related of Zagonyi 
showed him to have not only the coolness 
and experience that was needed, but that 
rarer quality, the capacity for generous 
and unselfish devotion. He proved this 
in twice saving the life of General Bern 
at the utmost danger to his own, — the 
last time ending in Bern's escape and 
his own wounding and long imprisonment. 



SO THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

When I asked Zagonyi the particulars of 
the day at Hermanstadt, his surprise was 
great to find we knew of it at all ; only 
with much persistence could I get even 
confirmation from him. His additions to 
the story were remembrances of others, — 
of an aid to General Liiders (Russian), 
who stopped a soldier from firing upon 
him as he lay wounded and pinned down 
by his dead horse, and how he had had 
him carried off and cared for as his con- 
dition required ; of the old bugler who 
would stay by him defending him until he 
forced him to go on and save the Gen- 
eral, (Bern) — and so on. These experi- 
ences, grafted on a thorough military 
education, made Zagonyi the fittest one 
to carry out the cavalry plan ; and I will 
give his own account of the forming of 
the Guard, in his own quaint Hunga- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 31 

rian English, which gives it more em- 
phasis and character, and makes a brief, 
soldierly effect which is not natural to 
pens feminine. 

I once heard a good criticism made 
unconsciously by that natural knight and 
gentleman, our friend Kit Carson.* In 
preparing a sketch of his life, a writer 
used the expression, " there he snared the 
wily beaver." Carson came to me about it. 
He did not like to hurt the writer's pride; 
but said he, " there's men that will read 
that, and they'll know every word of that 
had to come from me or them, and it's 
not true that I snared beaver. Beaver 
must be caught with traps." So I got it 
unsnared, and comforted him ; and, profit- 
ing by Carson's criticism, I let the actors 

* Colonel Carson, now on active duty in New 
Mexico. 



82 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

speak for themselves. I should explain 
that all that I give from Major Zagonyi 
was taken down, at one sitting, roughly, 
as memoranda, not as a smooth, connected 
account, — for which there was not time. 



III. 

(ZAGONYI SPEAKING.) 

"At the outbreak of the rebellion I had 
the idea to recruit cavalry, but the order 
appeared that only one regiment will be 
accepted from all the loyal States ; this 
at once cooled down all the zeal what I 
had, being unable to understand how, with- 
out cavalry, will carry on the war, — know- 
ing by experience that in no country, and 
less in America, (so big it is,) can 
any general accomplish this with success. 
Cavalry is necessary for the security of 
an army ; without that, no reconnoitring 
can be made on the enemy's ground, — 
incursions so in small as large scale to 
annoy them day and night, disturbing 



34 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

them so that they shall never have a 
night's repose, beside covering 1 our own 
movements so completely that the enemy 
shall not be able to form any exact idea 
from what point, and by what strength, 
and with what disposition, and when, he 
shall be attacked. 

"Artillery is to fight the battle. Cav- 
alry is to find where to fight it, and how 
to finish it. 

"Was the intention now to form a body 
of picked men, each to be as officer. As 
was raised regiments, could be taken from 
this corps well-trained officers. 

" Commenced on the tenth August. On 
twelfth, was sworn in first company, and 
was excluded over two hundred men. 
Besides, from seven States came applica- 
tion by letters. These, and inside press- 
ure in St. Louis, compelled the General 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 35 

to order a second company. After came 
the offer of the Kentucky company, which, 
Kentucky being in such a " (mo- 
tion of the hand like a boat rocking) 
" the General could not refuse. Hav- 
ing three companies, through the cav- 
alry regulation, we had to raise a fourth 
to make the battalion. More so, because 
letters was lying over from lawyers, doc- 
tors, young men of good families with 
recommendation from governors, judges, 
mayors of cities, &c. Besides some from 
Visconsin, where I was asked that, if the 
General sends me with his name that he 
wants it, and as an officer that we know, 
you can have five thousand men. 

" And it turned out that the fourth com- 
pany beat the others, so fine it was. The 
fourth company was a beautiful company ; 
was not needed to force it to be filled up. 



36 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

But only hundred days' campaign cut them 
short that they was not to see actual 
service. Application was made of offi- 
cers to get position in the Guard ; every 
one was refused, being the rule that 
every officer was to be raised from the 
ranks." 

(The Kentucky company elected their 
officers. The others Major Zagonyi se- 
lected. They were regularly mustered in 
for three years or the war, by an expe- 
rienced mustering officer of the regular 
army, — Captain, now Colonel Tracy. ) 

" For one month I [Zagonyi] com- 
manded the four companies, drilled them, 
with hardly any officers or non-commis- 
sioned officers, as captain ; later, on the 
nineteenth September, being promoted to 
be a major — the regulation gives a lieu- 
tenant-colonel to four companies. Was 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 3J 

only one captain in the four companies, 
Captain Foley, by election ; the rest of the 
officers was as lieutenant, and was every 
one fit to be captains and even major, 
one, and he never served before. They was 
put through hard drilling - , riding in the 
school, besides going out every day on the 
outskirt of the city and made through all 
the manoeuvres that in the field can be used, 
and it did cost many a bruised face and 
body and a couple of ribs. So that they 
had hardly any time for rest or amusement. 
Besides, in the midnight received orders 
many a time to march out in fifteen 
twenty minutes, to be on the ground where 
intended disturbances was expected, to be 
ready for every emergency — and generally 
was fifty men ordered, and before the fifty 
left the camp every man who had horse 
and saddle was in the rank, — nobody 



38 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

would remain behind. I selected every 
horse ; not a single horse came in the 
Guard which did not go through my in- 
spection. 

" The evening before we left St. Louis 
we did not have sabres enough, nor did 
the rest of the cavalry regiments. I found 
out, (Capt. Callender was perfectly rough 
and used me badly ; I had to tell him, 
Excuse me, Captain, but I never took 
an insulting word, and you must answer 
me decently,) in short, I find out from 
a trusted man that sabres was at the 
arsenal before Capt. Callender knew it, 
and the order was written and gone 
to the arsenal before he knew they are 
there. 

" Sabres, Beale's revolvers, and Colt's car- 
bine with stock attachment, which we dis- 
attached in the attack, using revolver only. 



THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 39 

Besides, the night before leaving camp by 
Jefferson City, the General gave each offi- 
cer a pair of revolvers. "Was well armed 
and well mounted." 



IV. 

THEIR DEPARTURE. 

Unprepared as other things were, the 
right season had come ; and many points 
were right which marked this as the time 
for an advance of the army, first against 
the rebel force under General Price, and — 
after freeing the State from that and es- 
tablishing peace in the rear — then to com- 
mence the downward move to New Or- 
leans. This ultimate object was compre- 
hended by the whole army, to whom, 
as Western men, the Mississippi was 
the natural tide to fortune, for want of 
whose commerce their States were perish- 
ing. It was with the quick cooperation 
of interest as well as patriotism that they 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 41 

entered into the idea of making every 
sacrifice for success. Very willingly, there- 
fore, they took the field, only partially 
equipped in clothing, and very partially 
in provisions. One single track railway, 
and a river with more snags and sand- 
bars than water, at that season, were the 
only means of getting the large army and 
its supplies up to Lexington, which was 
the point moved against, about two hun- 
dred and fifty miles above St. Louis. The 
river was unusually low, and the weather 
remained sunny and open. A small gun- 
boat, improvised from a ferry-boat,* and 
carrying five nine-inch Dahlgren guns, was 
relied on for river-service, and much was 
hoped from her aid at Lexington. But no 

* Since famous under Captain Porter as The Essex. 
She was then The New Era, and commanded by Captain 
Rodgers, who had superintended her fitting out. 



42 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

ingenuity could get her to draw less than 
five and a half feet, and on some of the 
bars there was not four feet water. 

When the retreat of Price turned the 
movement more immediately southward, it 
seemed as if difficulties would vanish. Corn 
was getting ripe and hard in the fields, cat- 
tle could be secured by scouts and driven 
on the hoof, fresh corn-meal could be had 
wherever there were mills, and a day's halt 
could always be made to grind enough; 
or, if that delay would lose valuable time, 
they could, for the object, live on meat 
alone. All along their route the forage 
would be in the right state in the fields, 
so that the delays and expense of great 
transportation trains were to be avoided, and 
yet neither men nor animals suffer. With 
Memphis and New Orleans in the near 
future, hardships were felt to be temporary. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 43 

Time enough for feasting or fastidiousness 
when the victory was won. 

It was a stirring, eager, hopeful time, 
that just before their leaving St. Louis. 
The offices and halls at headquarters were 
humming with life, and the clank and ring 
of sabre and spur were sounding-notes of 
coming battle all the day long, and far into 
the nights. 

More harmonious and efficient cooper- 
ation could not be than that received by the 
General from his staff: — there were also 
some loyal citizens whose brief visits always 
resulted in advantage to the army. Work- 
ing so late into the nights, it got to be 
one of our habits to have tea Russian- 
fashion, — so that without keeping the ser- 
vants from their rest, we could still have 
it to refresh us and keep us roused. It 
will always stay with me as one of the 



44 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

most pleasant memories of that most wear- 
ing and most welcome work of my life, 
how they came to that cool upper-hall, and 
in a hurried interval drank tea, and gave 
condensed summaries of the work or news; 
— sometimes several would gather at the 
same time, and little animated discussions 
would go on, the latter part of the time 
chiefly as to what could be done without. 
It was so good to see the kind smile of 
amusement with which the veterans in ex- 
posure listened to such arguments. Such 
sufferings outlined in a few words, as would 
sometimes come from them ! It made a 
respectful blush cover the young faces that 
had been planning what they thought sacri- 
fices. " Is no need of tents," says General 
Asboth. " In Hungary we make a winter 
campaign and we sleep without tents, our 
feet to the fire, — sometimes our ears did 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 45 

freeze," (the General's ears and his feet 
are a long way apart). But the least 
concern on all minds was the open enemy 
in the field. 

On the 26th Septemher, they left St. 
Louis, — the General and a few officers 
going- by rail, and the Guard with their 
horses by the somewhat slower route of the 
river. Really, necessary stores and trans- 
portation were wanting ; and it must be 
borne in mind, that, but for these impedi- 
ments General Price would have been cer- 
tainly overtaken, his army most probably 
defeated, and quiet for the winter secured to 
Missouri. The New Year would have 
found our flag at Memphis, and, it was 
reasonably hoped, the usual spring trade 
would descend the river to New Orleans. 

To accustom the troops to feel their 



46 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

strength was part of their training, and 
occasions for skirmishing were always ac- 
cepted. The oldest troops in this Missis- 
sippi army were hardly of the date at which 
Bonaparte was willing to use his, — six 
weeks ; but the longest drill could not 
have made them more patient of hardship, 
more self-denying, or more cheerful under 
fatigue and privation. " New Orleans, and 
home again by summer," was their main- 
spring. Sigel earned the name of the 
" Flying Dutchman," so jealously did he 
keep his division in the advance, — Gen- 
eral Asboth nearest him, — General Fre- 
mont, with the Guard, overtaking Sigel 
and keeping up with him. 

In this good heart they started. The 
following letters belong here. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 4Tjf 

"Jefferson City, September 28, 1861. 
" Madame, — 

" I am now on waiting duty in the hall, 
and Jack is busily engaged in writing 
despatches in the General's room, which 
contains also three beds, three tables, two 
wash-stands, the General himself, Colonel 
Eaton, one or two of the amateur aids, 
and a wood-fire. In short, it is ' Hd. 
Qrs., W. D.' condensed into a space of 
twelve feet square. Under these circum- 
stances, and knowing that no one else 
who would think of such a thing will have 
the time to carry the plan into execution, 
Adlatus K. seizes a stray piece of paper 
to jot down a few of the incidents of our 
journey and our reception. 

" We had a very quiet, slow, pleasant 
passage, with no other interruption than 
stopping at all the bridges, &c. . . . 



48 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" On reaching - the depot here, we were 
met by Gen. Price and a red lantern, — 
which constituted the extent of our recep- 
tion. You ought to hear Major Zagonyi 
hold forth on that affair. Gen. P., in 
citizen's clothes, bearing his lantern, led 
the way over mud-puddles and pitfalls, 
with Gen. F and Gen. A. The unhappy 
staff straggled on behind. At length we 
arrived at the Virginia Hotel, and found 
that no preparations had been made for 
our comfort. Major White and your hum- 
ble servant, the ' Adl.,' were employed till 
nearly twelve o'clock, in quartering the 
staff. If we had not studied the science 
of ' Quarterstaff,' I don't think we should 
ever have got through. Major Z., Jack 
and I slept in the General's office after he 
went to bed. 

" Gen. Price — who is one of the most 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 49 

good-natured men it has been my lot to 
meet — took Zagonyi and men to a hotel, 
and mildly asked, ' Can you accommodate 
my good friends here \ ' ' wich they sed 
they couldn't Mum.' Whereupon the gal- 
lant little major stepped up and said, 
5 You must give my boys to sleep, else 
I put you in the street,' which ended in 
their taking seventy-two men ! 

" 'Every man has his Price,' you know; 
would that every soldier had his ' Za- 
gonyi ! ' 

" The mail is closing, and these little bits 
of intelligence are good for nothing, unless 
I send them soon. 

" Hoping that some weary moment, be- 
guiled by the little history of our ludi- 
crous reception, may excuse the liberty I 
have taken, 

" I remain, &c, &c, R.' 



5> 



50 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" Jefferson Citt, 
" 29th Sept. — 8 in morning. 

"Yesterday occupied in work of re- 
quisitions, moving ahead troops, and pla- 
cing- them. We feel severely the want of 
equipments and arms, especially for cav- 
alry. We have, almost literally speaking 1 , 
no appropriately-armed cavalry in the field. 
But I am hoping daily now to hear of 
the arrival of sabres. . . I am about 
going into camp this forenoon, and it 
threatens rain. 

" Tell Dr. Van Buren that I have writ- 
ten for the surgeon he recommended to 
me, and ask him to aid to have him 
come.* 

" See the Sanitary Committee, and tell 
them that the whole Surgical Department 

* Dr. Suckley. The General bad the benefit of Dr. 
Suckley's services in Virginia last summer. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 51 

here is in a very bad condition, — it gives 
me great anxiety. Therefore, as soon as 
they can spare Dr. Mills for a short time, 
I would be very glad to have him, that 
I may get the condition of the army in 
this respect better, before they get into 
the field. In the event of an action, we 
should be in a very bad condition." 

«J. C. F." 



V. 

AT JEFFERSON CITY. 

Seeing he should be detained some 
days in that place, the General tele- 
graphed us to come up. The ride up 
was full of painful contrasts to my old 
memories and more especially my last 
journey through the State. I had so 
often gone to the frontier with Mr. Fre- 
mont, when he was starting on his over- 
land journeys, or to meet him on his re- 
turn, that my own associations with the State 
were of the hospitality and kind sympathy 
so often and so warmly given to me by its 
people. They would have done as much 
for any of my father's daughters; but to 
me new kindnesses were added because of 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 53 

Mr. Fremont's sharing that life so full of 
traditions and perils. The Indian country, 
with its vague mountain boundary, is to 
frontiersmen what the sea and its dangers 
are to coast people — bringing like sympa- 
thies. 

After seeing Mr. Fremont off in the 
fall of '53, I found the river so low 
that I left the boat which had brought 
me from Independence, and got off at 
Washington to go down by land. 

Although but about eighty miles above 
St. Louis, the river falls so low in the 
autumn, that it was very probable (as 
proved the fact) that the steamboat would 
require several days to make the distance. 

I was quite alone. My good Marie, tired 
by the rapid journey from Washington, 
which we were so soon to retrace, had 
been left in St. Louis to recruit, and so 



54< THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

I was landed from a little boat, without 
explanation or introduction, all by myself, 
among- a whole crowd on the bank, who 
had gathered — it was Sunday afternoon 
— to watch the boat stop, and wonder 
at the passenger leaving it. There was 
no mark on my trunk, and it was rather 
embarrassing. The clerk of the boat had 
told me there were only Germans there, 
and no communication with the railway, 
which was then finished only to a point 
about twenty-seven miles lower down. 
But I was restless, and anywhere in Mis- 
souri I felt at home. 

I spoke to a fatherly-looking man, 
to whom I explained that the river was 
low, and I was anxious to get to St. 
Louis immediately, and asked to be shown 
the way to the hotel. In a very grave 
and silent way he turned up the bank, 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 55 

signing me to follow, which I did, a 
little troubled, but much more amused by 
the whole crowd following in solemn 
silence. If it had been an American 
town, all the necessary, and some unne- 
cessary, questions would have been asked 
and answered in the first five minutes. 
But we made our way up the hill and 
into the clean, ugly, comfortable town, 
and I was shown into the "best room" of 
a large house, whose mistress and daugh- 
ters came forward and made me as 
quietly welcome as though they knew 
me. Their faces, the furniture, the vio- 
lins and guitar, and high pile of music- 
books; the pretty bright light hair of the 
women, too-tightly-plaited, all were Ger- 
many itself. I pleased myself by accept- 
ing this unquestioning hospitality as it was 
given, and still did not give my name, 



56 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

— only asking a room, as I found I could 
not get any conveyance until the next 
day. Even then, they could only offer to 
see about one, having nothing themselves. 
It was all so odd, so primitive, so 
truly good and hospitable, that I was at 
once and most pleasantly relieved of all 
embarrassment. The daughters went up 
to prepare a room, and the mother soon 
showed me to it. I had taken off my hat 
and gloves, and was smoothing my hair, 
when the mother — who had remained in 
the room — caught up my glove, and burst- 
ing into tears, cried out a sobbing speech 
to me : — " Ah, dear God ! You are a 
lady from my country ; — you are from 
Hesse Cassel. The ladies in my country 
wear these gloves when they go hunting 
with the king. They have stopped in 
their carriages at my door, and I have 



THE STOEY OF THE GUARD. ffj 

carried them to drink. It is twenty-four 
years since I come away from my coun- 
try ; but I love it best — ah ! " — and 
then she let the tears downfall, for the 
lost home. 

Straight from Hesse Cassel to Mis- 
souri ! — in 1829, too, when it was so 
new. She had never left her new home. 
Sometimes her husband went to St. Louis. 
Otto wanted to go there, and he was 
twenty-three now ; he ought to go to see 
it, &c, &c. It was hard to make her 
realize I was American. " But you have 
color in your face ! " — biennial ague was 
her experience, and she could not conceive 
of exemption from it. But when I told 
her who I was, I think she was as pleased 
as if I had been a lady hunting with the 
king. It loosened the tongues of all the 
family. My father was personally known 



58 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

to some, and they all held him as their 
own property. As they explained to me, 
" He is our Senator, and a friend to the 
Germans." One son-in-law was gone on 
a trading - excursion towards New Mexico. 
His young wife attached herself to my 
side, and there was an unspoken hond 
between us. It happened to be the an- 
niversary of the old people's wedding. 
They were so glad I was there that day. 
Such an elaborate, bountiful repast ! 

After the early supper, they all gath- 
ered in the large room, which was posi- 
tively elegant from its glistening cleanli- 
ness, and the window-seats filled with 
plants, and the large table in the cen- 
tre, covered with music and instruments. 
With the same delightful simplicity and 
absence of consciousness which had marked 
everything else among them, each took 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 59 

his instrument and place by the table, — 
sons and sons-in-law, — the father and 
several of the younger women taking 
their music, and then followed piece after 
piece of such music as only Germans can 
play rightly, — occasionally all joining in 
a lovely song. 

Wonderfully large tumblers of beer 
stood by each musician, but there was 
but little break to what was, evidently, 
their habitual evening's occupation — ■ not 
even when one substantial citizen after 
another came in to make his respects to 
my father through me, and to wish a 
good voyage to Mr. Fremont. 

Very early the next morning I start- 
ed to make the intervening twenty-seven 
miles, in the best conveyance the sud- 
den demand could afford — a country-cart 
without springs, and a plough-horse. And 



60 THE STOE-* OF THE GUARD. 

so, in the gray dawn, I left these kind 
people, loaded with presents from their best 
vintages for my father, and followed by 
their kindest good wishes for myself. Otto, 
farmer, tenor, and guitarist, had at length 
his chance. He drove me to the depot, 
and then saw me to St. Louis, where my 
dear friend and cousin — whose charming 
home was then as now mine also, when 
there — made him welcome to hospital- 
ity as genuine as his own, although so 
different in its fashion. 

I had been long revolving many mem- 
ories when we reached the dining-station of 
Hermann — also a German town, and very 
near this town of Washington. Now, as 
then, the Germans were friends ; but along 
the whole route guards were stationed. We 
moved slowly, at best, as we had a heavy 



THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 61 

train, nearly a regiment, and some artil- 
lery; and at every bridge the train stop- 
ped and parleyed with the force on 
guard ; then, feeling the way cautiously, 
we moved forward again. The new 
timbers in some of the bridges, with 
the charred remains on the shore, ex- 
plained some of this caution; — but every- 
where the stamp of insecurity was on 
the country. No more careless travel 
among a friendly people. My good old 
frontier friends, I fear, are mostly gone 
secessionward. 

It was so good to reach home-faces 
at the close of the day. The General 
was at the depot to meet us, as were 
quite a number of officers, whose wives 
had taken this last chance of seeing 
them. We had room for some in the 
large ambulance waiting for us, and 



62 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

drove out to the camp, while our fellow- 
passengers — the regiment — took the 
drier and more direct road over the 
hills, their flag seeming to wave us an 
assurance of welcome and protection. 

Soon we were in a loyal atmosphere, 
where a Sibley tent, with a board floor, 
and a glowing camp-fire in front, made 
again the old pleasant effect of frontier 
hospitality. 

Our stay was over in a few days. Early 
on Monday we saw the tents struck and 
the whole force move off; as my youngest 
boy said, " packed up for the battle-field," 
and then took our way back to St. Louis. 
But the day before having been very hot, 
the General fixed the hour before sun- 
down for the Evening-Service, and then 
was the real leave-taking of the troops, 
who were with the rising of the sun to 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 63 

turn their faces away from their river 
and march inland. Nearest the Staff stood 
the Guard drawn up in open square. 
They justified all Zagonyi has said of 
them. All of nearly the same age and 
height, with great similarity of habits 
and of education, and all guided by the 
same enthusiasm in a noble cause, they 
looked what they were : the true, knightly 
embodiment of war. Their compact un- 
adorned uniform of dark blue gave depth 
of tone to the picture, as they stood 
relieved against the setting sun and the 
nearer groundwork of autumnal foliage. 
At the close of the services, their band 
played the dear old hymn of " Old Hun- 
dred," and these manly young voices sang 
its grand and simple prayer, and then all 
heads bared to the benediction. After a 
moment's pause, at the regular military 



64 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

drum-beat they fell back to their soldier- 
life and walk, and went on their way, and 
I saw them all no more. 

As the light died from the sky the 
camp-fires brightened on the far hill-sides; 
from all the camps we could hear late 
into the night hymn-tunes ; — and so, 
with reverent hearts and heightened pur- 
pose, they made their farewell to their 
homes. 

When the Emperor — then still Pres- 
ident — gave back the Imperial Eagles 
to the French army, the banners were all 
blessed at an altar erected on the Champ 
de Mars. Over sixty thousand troops were 
on the ground, and the surrounding crowd 
was in hundreds of thousands. That used 
to stay on my memory as the grandest of 
religious war ceremonies : that great host 
bowing reverently as the sacred symbol 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 65 

was elevated over the emblem of the old 
glories of France. But far more touch- 
ing 1 and impressive is it now to remember 
this home-scene with all its terrible inner 
history of a Cain-and-Abel strife, and rec- 
ognize that our army not only felt it could 
ask the blessing of God, but that it did 
so ; — and it will be given. What is sown 
in tears and weakness now shall yet be 
raised in power. 



" When I thought that a war would arise in defence 
of the right, 

That an iron tyranny now should bend or cease, 
The glory of manhood stand on his ancient height, 

Nor the nation's one sole God be the millionnaire ; — 

And as months ran on and rumor of battle grew, 
It is time, it is time, O passionate heart, said I, 
(For I cleaved to a cause that I felt to be pure and 
true,) 



66 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

And I stood on a giant deck and mixed my breath 
With a loyal people shouting a battle-cry, 
Till I saw the dreary phantom arise and fly 

Far into the North, and battle, and seas of death. 

Let it go or stay, so I wake to the higher aims 
Of a land that has lost for a little her lust of gold, 

And love of a peace that was full of wrongs and 
shames : 
Horrible, hateful, monstrous, not to be told ; 
And hail once more to the banner of battle unrolled. 

Let it flame or fade, and the war roll down like a 

wind, 
We have proved we have hearts in a cause, we are 

noble still, 
And myself have awaked, as it seems, to the better 

mind ; 
It is better to fight for the good than to rail at the 

ill; 
I have felt with my native land, I am one with my 

kind, 
I embrace the purpose of God, and the doom assigned." 



VI. 

EN ROUTE. 

I have chosen to give some letters in my 
possession rather than a connected narrative 
of the march. These letters contain many 
items of interest, and form the best con- 
necting link with Springfield. Some of 
them are from two young officers whom 
I had long known in their families at 
New York, part addressed to me, and 
part to private friends, who kindly placed 
them at my disposal. 

" Jefferson City, Oct. 4, 1862. 
" . . . . Night before last, Major 
Frank White and Jack were called from 
their beds to 'saddle and away' with im- 



68 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

portant orders. No sooner were they 
gone, and I fairly settled again, sleepily 
glad that it wasn't I, than the alarm was 
beat, or rather sounded in camp. Now 
those persevering buglers practise the alarm 
all day long in the woods about camp; 
and I am compelled to say that its repe- 
tition at midnight startled nobody, except 
the Guard, who were in the saddle al- 
most instantly. As for the Staff, they 
slumbered in sweet security, until the gal- 
lant Zagonyi went round to every tent, 
putting in his head and saying, ' Gentle- 
men, it is the alarm ! You will please 
to get up in one minute ! ' 

" At this we jumped up. What was 
my consternation to find that the boys 
had ' taken their pick ' of boots and spurs 
when they went, leaving me with one odd 
boot. But there was no time to lose; so 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 69 

I rushed out into the parade-ground, with 
a slipper on the other foot. The General 
stood, silent and courteous, before his tent, 
and received our reports. I kept my best 
foot foremost, and escaped notice in the 
dark. Some slight disturbance had occa- 
sioned the alarm; but the General wished 

to try the Staff and Guard. and 

did not get up at all. I think 

they had the best of it, unless the Gen- 
eral may have noticed their absence, in 
which case they may be sure they are 
' down a peg,' and won't recover it very 
soon. Well, we all went to bed, and 
reveille awoke us at four. 

" Last night, Jack and I were called 
to write despatches and then carry them. 
The orders were no less than march at 
daylight I to many of the troops. The 
General has a penchant, which I regard 



yO THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

with unaffected hostility, for writing or- 
ders at 1 a. M., and sending them as 
soon as the ink is dry. It is true, he is 
safe from rebel spies by this means; but 
consider the unpleasant position in which 
it places a merely ornamental young gen- 
tleman, who, being deceived by the Public 
Press, thought that Fremont's aids had 
nothing to do but look their prettiest and 
draw their pay. I am sorry to say that 
neither of these interesting occupations lies 
open to us. Instead thereof, the most 
abominable night- rides, over roads that 
yawn with chasms and are red with bot- 
tomless mud, past sentinels who invari- 
ably cock the gun, aim at your head, 
and put finger to the trigger when they 
challenge you, in vain search after mythic 
camps. Alas ! couldn't the General have 
arranged the Art of War so as to omit 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. J I 

rainy nights and keep a fellow comfort- 
able ! 

" At all events, it was very comfortable 
to get back to bed, towards morning. 
Before we could fall asleep, however, the 
rattle of the ' long roll ' on the hills 
around showed that the orders were be- 
ginning to work. The Staff was thor- 
oughly aroused. Several came to our 
tent, to know if we could explain the 
rumpus. Alarm beating, men under arms, 
cooks lighting their fires, and all the signs 
of the dickens to pay. We pretended 
great ignorance, — said it was only a 
drum-alarm, and had nothing to do with 
our camp, which answers to the bugle. 
It was amusing to see the very ones who 
lay abed the night before, now so lively 
about nothing at all. 

" This morning by seven, the white 



72 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

tents which so thickly studded the hills 
were gone, and nothing to be seen but 
men marching, or sitting around their 
fires, drinking their morning coffee. 

'• The General has ordered strong cof- 
fee to the troops every morning at day- 
light. It not only keeps off ague, but 
warms them up, and puts them in good 
humor." 



" Camp Asboth, near Tipton, 
" Oct. 9, 3 p. m. 

" . . We are encamped about a mile 
beyond the town, the neighborhood of 
which shows more the gathering of an 
army by a great deal than you saw at 
Jefferson City. Where we camped last 
night, at California, the country round is 
all secession ; but a few miles this side we 
fell into an enthusiastic loyal population, 



THE STORY OF THE GUAKD. J3 

who came out along the road to express 
their pleasure at our coming - . About this 
town there is more secession again, but 
the rebel part have mostly left. Price is 
still retreating-. 

" I am endeavoring hard to get the army 
a little better equipped. I had hoped to 
get the arms, a portion of which are being 
altered at Cincinnati, and some more sabres. 
In many things Captain McKeever and 
Captain Callender have worked very effi- 
ciently to aid me, and we shall be much 
better equipped than I had hoped. The 
army is in the best kind of spirits, and 
before we get through I will show you a 
little California * practice, that is, if we 
are not interrupted. I think we can do 
something good. 

* In allusion to the fine marching of the California 
Battalion in 1845-46. 



74 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" . . . I want very much to see Cap- 
tain Foote if he is in St. Louis. If not, 
I will write him hy . 

" .... I send you Whittier's lines. 
What a fine illustration might be made 
of them. The rice-field with its acces- 
sories, the slaves at work, and the raised 
and listening heads as they first catch the 
sounds from far off. Be of good heart, — 
we are fulfilling the task allotted to us, 
and we will try to do it bravely. . . . 

" Our force about the State begins to 
work well. When the alarm came to me 
yesterday about Hermann, I was able to as- 
semble men around it so quickly that there 
must have been three thousand three hun- 
dred there this morning, and this evening 
seven hundred more of cavalry in rear of 
rebels, and Wyman with thirteen hundred 
more available. So there would have been 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. J 5 

no clamor about reinforcements. After a 
few weeks in the field, this will be one 
of the finest armies in the world. 

• ••••• 

"J. C. F" 



" Camp Asboth, 10th. 

"... I received this morning 's 

despatch informing- me that the Secretary 
at War and General Thomas will be in 
St. Louis to-day. I am going - on with 
formation of the plan I had indicated to 
you in my letter of yesterday. What the 
full plan is, I will let you know by sure 

hand, and will also inform , so 

that you and he may work together in aid 
of it. All this, provided I am not inter- 
fered with. General Price is on the 
Osage, pretty high up, retreating towards 



76 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

the south. His object is to effect junction 
with McCullough. That is, he says so. 
But in my judgment he intends retreating 
into Arkansas. McCullough, I am sure, 
is not in Missouri. We are having a 
severe rain-storm. 

"J. C. F" 



" Camp Asboth, 
" 1 h. 40 m., 10th Oct. 

I have written you lots of scraps to- 
day. It is raining and storming hard, 
but the rain does not delay us much, 
for the railroad serves nearly as well as 
in fine weather, and I am getting a 
chance to get from below what little 
transportation means we have on hand. 
This makes our great difficulty. 

I want the Secretary at War to put 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. ^jf 

an end to that kind of action which is 
impeding me by producing - want of con- 
fidence. I think is not 

friendly to me, and therefore I have a 
right to demand that he be at once re- 
moved from my department. I think he 
has been purposely sent with the object, 
that being unfriendly he would embarrass 
me. I ought not to have impediments — 
circumstances always bring enough neces- 
sarily. ..... 

"J. C. F." 



" Camp Asboth, near Tipton, 
" Oct. 10, 1861. 

" It being a rainy day, a leisure day, 
and not my day to swear, I am in a fit 
mood to remember your kind request, and 
report to you concerning the various 
little incidents and accidents of the march 



78 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

and bivouac, which give on the whole a 
truer picture of us than documents and 
despatches by the score. Behold me, 
therefore, seated on my bed (!) lifting my 
heels at intervals from the wet ground, 
muffled in a great overcoat, and writing 
on my knees. 

"Let me plunge at once in medias res. 
The first day's ride was delightful, even 
to the heavy men. They were all re- 
joiced, at the end of nine miles, when 
we stopped for the night, to find how 
well they bore ' the hardships of a sol- 
dier's life.' Our first camp was pitched 
in a swamp, for the same reason why 
John went to a certain place — ■ ' because 
there was much water there.' Captain 
Haskell, who selected the ground, said 
water was a great thing. It is the unan- 
imous opinion of the ' Adlati ' that water 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 79 

is a very large thing indeed ; and not a 
pleasant bedfellow. The fever-and-ague 
has made its appearance in camp already; 
and those preserved strawberries, put up 
by the ' United Society of Shakers ' be- 
gin to bear an ominous significance. 

" The next morning, who should appear, 
careering about the field, but Wamba,* 
mounted on a fiery horse whose paces 
he was exhibiting. It is my private im- 
pression that Wamba is made of wood — 
head and all ; and having been wound 
up to go as an infantry corporal, his 
machinery cannot be altered until he is 
made an infantry spiritual and angelic. 
On the present occasion he assumed, in 

* Wamba was an old regular, on duty as the Gen- 
eral's orderly. His blue uniform, with lighter blue 
chevrons and stiff leather stock, suggested woad-dyeing 
and serf collar, and got him his sobriquet. 



80 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

spite of the interpolated horse, the com- 
plete i position of a soldier : head erect, 
eyes Front, hand grasping - the seam of 
the pantaloons, palm forward, heels mon? 
or less apart, feet at a strong divergent 
angle,' &c. The noble steed himself caught 
the spirit of the occasion, fancied himself 
in the ranks, and considered Wamba 
an Enfield, which it was his business 
alternately to ' ground ' and ' shoulder ' 
with all possible speed. To complete the 
picture, General Asboth and ' The General ' 
stood in front of their tents witnessing 
the display. At its close, Gen. A. said 
benevolently, ' Ah, my dear, I see you are 
not Cavalerist ! ' and General Fremont 
laughed more heartily than I have ever 
seen him before : — at which Wamba was 
overcome with delight, and interjected a 
salute between two bounds of his horse. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 81 

Such was Camp Lovejoy. We have 
played upon the Colonel's generosity and 
innocence, until we convinced him that it 
was ' the correct thing ' for him to send 
round wine in honor of the naming 
of our second camp after him — whence 
the claret already mentioned. 

"Alas ! what am I writing ! Who knows 
but I shall be 'jugged' for 'conduct 
unbecoming,' &c. &c. The colonels and 
majors and captains are all my superior 
officers ; and hereafter I shall not even 
have the poor consolation of seeing how 
they ride, for last night came the terri- 
ble order that the Staff shall ride two 
and two, according to rank. This puts 
a half-dozen of captains between Jack 
and me, and sets me back among the 
unknown. Wretched me ! 

" The insane passion for riding six 
6 



82 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

abreast in narrow or muddy roads, which 
seems to seize all the junior members 
of the Staff, has led to this new arrange- 
ment, which Jack and I, I believe, were 
the first to suggest, although it results in 
separating us. Hereafter, each man is 
doomed to one neighbor, and no variety 
in conversation. The list is made out 
in the order ; and after enumerating the 
larger animals, two and two, as Noah 
did, closes with ' Lt. R., &c.' Now wasn't 
it cruel to make me ride with, '&c"? Who 
the fellow is, I don't know, but I have a 
horrid intuition that it is the man with 
a mule!* Would you believe it? Colonel 
Eaton brought this document of doom 
to our tent, last night, and I was de- 
tailed to go from tent to tent, and read 

* A surgeon's assistant, who had not been able to ob- 
ain a horse, in the hurry of departure. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 83 

it to the Staff! ' O torture most re- 
fined !'.... 

"There is a report here that the enemy 
is trying to get away, but cannot cross 
the Osage River. This is jolly, if true, 
and indicates a speedy chance of battle. 
The worst of it is, we are not in the 
advance, and don't seem likely to be. 

"The General looks well, and I think 
enjoys himself much better than in Ori- 
ental St. Louis. By the way, I hear 
that mule is to be ordered out of the 
Staff, because it savors of ' Oriental 
Pomp.' The Queen of Sheba and the 
Khan of Tartary, together with Shahs, 
Pashas, EfFendi and Howadji innumerable, 
rode or ride on mules. Mules being, 
therefore, Oriental, let their tribe be con- 
fined to the ' Eastern Department ! ' 

"But 'Adl.' H. desires room for a line 



84 THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 

of postscript. He has gone to town in 
rain and rage ; for he found, on calling 
for his gray, that the stupid groom had 
fed another gray horse by mistake, and 
his had had nothing. Jack had finished 
his anathemas for the day ; but I went 
out to help him, and we issued extra 
rations in honor of the occasion." 

" R." 



" Camp Asboth, 11th Oct. 1861. 

"Captain Foote, and have 

arrived. goes down to-night and 

will see you in the morning. 

" I don't think my despatch to General 
Cameron, requesting McKinstry to be left 
with me, reached him. Whether de- 
tained by , or some one about him, 

he can find out. General Thomas, con- 
trary to usage and regulation, ordered 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 85 

McKinstry and others from my depart- 
ment, without doing it through me — 
entirely overlooking and slighting me. 
It is a discourtesy and military offence. 
General Cameron ought to come here and 

see the army Officers 

were also detached by the Secretary of 
the Navy from gun-boats, and not done 
through me 

" I have placed Captain Foote in charge 
of all the boats belonging to the flotilla. 
My plan is New Orleans straight ; — 
Foote to join on the river below. I 
think it can be done gloriously, espe- 
cially if secret can be kept. ... It 
would precipitate the war forward and 
end it soon and victoriously. 

" Talk freely with , Captain Foote, 

and . All are true. 

"J. C. F" 



86 THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 

" Camp Asboth, 

" Oct. 12, 9J o'clock. 

" . . . . There is nothing to be said 
in addition to what I wrote yesterday, be- 
cause everything - in my mind is at a stand- 
still, until I know what result the visit 
of the Secretary leaves. You don't seem 
to feel very decided as to what course 
the Secretary may take, but in any event 
don't be in the least discouraged. If 
we go on from here, we shall do well. 
If interfered with, w shall do well in 
another way, but I shall act with equal 
decision in either case. So don't feel in 
the least dispirited ; but bear in mind 
all the time that General Thomas is my 
enemy. He is one of those who op- 
posed my appointment, and I am told 
indulged in some of the abusive and 
false language, which a certain class 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. yy 

about Washington had habitually permit- 
ted to themselves in reference to me. 
As I told you he has conducted him- 
self discourteously to me in his com- 
munications in reference to the army. . . 

'J. C. F." 



a 



"Tuesday Morning, 15th Oct. 
" Camp Zagonyi. 

". . . . You need not be alarmed 
at my movements southward. They will 
be well considered, and you must just 
give me what aid you can 

" I am about nine miles out on the road 
to Osage River, and push right forward 
to-day. Our force is in splendid condi- 
tion. I intend to unite together all my 
scattered forces, and make my army such 
that it can go anywhere — that is, if we 
are not interrupted, and of that I suppose 



88 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

we shall learn within a week. Consult 

fully and freely with Mr. . Keep 

your health good, and don't get agitated. 
You say well that we are con- 
tending for honor and honorably ; our op- 
ponents for base ends and basely. I want 
this little note to go to you freighted 
only with pleasant thoughts, a harbinger 
of success, and meetings soon to come. 
One of our little white butterflies came 
flying around in front of my horse as I 
rode along with the Secretary at War to 
the review at Syracuse. — This reminds 
me that I have not yet read the letters 
from the Mariposas ; I will to-night. . . 
Thank you for the sabres and guns ; send 
any such things forward as best you can.* 

"J. C. F " 

* Perhaps I should explain, that the frequent reference 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 89 

of official work to my care came not merely from Mr. 
Fremont's long habit of referring all manner of work 
and duties to me as acting principal in his absence, but 
because nearly all the General's reliable officers were 
with him. Of those remaining, his quartermaster be- 
came ill of fever, and was in a critically dangerous state 
from the time of the army's leaving. The adjutant, 
Captain McKeever, who was very active and thorough 
in his attention to his duties, had his right arm disabled 
by a relapse of injuries received at Bull Run, causing 
several times so much fever and suffering as to leave 
actually no other head than myself; for Colonel Fiala 
also became ill, and even when he was well, General 
Curtis would not reply to any communication from him. 
Knowing I was always at the house, and that anything 
requiring attention would be sure to receive it, night or 
day, the General wrote to me for what was needed ; and 
many a despatch was sent, and combination made at the 
bedside of invalids too worn to sit up. Of course the 
regular official orders came also, but in this I have only 
quoted from private and personal papers. 



VII. 

THE BUILDING OF THE BRIDGE. 

" Warsaw, Wednesday Morning. 

" . . . We are all well, and the 
army in good spirits, notwithstanding the 
rain. Nothing can stand before this lit- 
tle army ; and if not interfered with, it will 
do some good work. But the constant 
expectation of being turned off from our 
plans by the Department, annoys, and takes 
away much of the interest. I judge that 
the enemy is much demoralized, and much 
of his force will leave him, if we get nigh 

enough to have any effect 

"J. C. F" 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. yi 

" Camp on the Banks of the Osage, 
" October 18, Noon. 

" I crossed the river this morning, and 
have just returned to this side, where is 
my own camp. All of Sigel's that is 
here is already across. We have just 
commenced a bridge, which, by to-morrow 
night, will be ready for the passage of the 
divisions as they come up. Meantime, Si- 
gel's and Asboth's will be over, and we 
shall be scouring the country in the di- 
rection of the enemy. Our difficulty con- 
sists absolutely and only in the want of 
transportation. On account of this the 
other divisions are collees to the line of 
the railroad. Ask Captain McKeever to do 
all that is humanly possible to get wag- 
ons, mules, harness, and drivers sent for- 
ward to Tipton. Meantime, I will seize 
everything of the kind there is in the 



92 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

country. The spirit of the men is some- 
thing extraordinary ; they will at once 
overcome anything - they come in contact 
with. But we must get our army togeth- 
er. It won't do to risk too much. 

" I understand, from other sources, that a 
contract made by Captain Haines, for the 
supply of cattle to this army, has been 
annulled. We are thus thrown on our own 
resources ; but this does not at all annoy 
me. If it is intended to cripple me, it 
can't be done. When I am left to my 
own resources I have no fears. The 
transportation business troubles me the 
most, because it keeps back the other parts 

of the army, and produces delay. 

can tell you if this is done purposely. . . 

"J. C. Fremont." 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Q3 

" Banks of the Osage, 

" October 19, 8 a. m. 

" Held back by want of transportation, 
I have not been able to get the army- 
nigh enough to the enemy to strike a 
blow, and so I lose a victory. I crossed 
the river yesterday afternoon, with part of 
the Guard, and sent them forward with 
some of Waring's cavalry. They may do 
a little something to put a white mark on 
the day. Hunter's, Pope's, and McKin- 
stry's divisions are still alongside the rail- 
road, transportation bound. But we are 
not losing time. Bridge-building, and 
scouring the country, gathering in teams 
and provisions, &c, all advance the work ; 
and the moment I can move I will do it 
with effect. 

" Can you tell me anything about War- 
ren's cavalry % I do not send many or- 



94 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

ders to St. Louis, because I do not feel 
that they have force. The course of the 
administration encouraged all manner of 
disobedience and neglect on the part of 
the officers there ; and paymasters, quar- 
termasters, and all, feel that my orders 
may be disregarded with impunity. ..." 



" Camp near Warsaw, 
"October 17, 1861. 

" As you will have seen, we have made 
quite a respectable distance in the pursuit, 
and have been rewarded here by rumors 
that Price is only thirty to fifty miles 
ahead, and waiting to give us battle ; — 
but rumor is so unreliable. 

" Three days have brought us from Tip- 
ton, about forty miles, which may be con- 
sidered a pretty good start for a green army. 
We arrived last night, though not quite 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 95 

in the town, encamping 1 about a mile north 
of it. While awaiting the baggage-trains, 
the General, calling for some ' young offi- 
cers to go with him,' and a company of 
the Guard, galloped like fun through mud 
and water, and abysmal roads, to the high 
bluffs of the Osage River, passing through 
the town on the way. Before getting to 
the village, we met General Sigel, with 
his adjutant. He had been here all day, 
slowly putting his brigade across on one 
small ferry-boat. He rode with us through 
Warsaw, and we, ' from her heights, sur- 
veyed ' the river which Price had to run 
around to avoid thrashing, and which we 
are about to cross in order to thrash him 
after all. 

" Having seen the possibilities of crossing, 
we rode back to camp, — the soldiers of 
Sigel's command filling the air with cheers 



96 THE STORY OP THE GUARD. 

and welcoming shouts for our chief. We 
had a pleasant enough night, and this 
morning the tents were struck, and we 
all moved over to the heights above the 
river. 

" While camp was being pitched, we 
rode with the General to the ferry, where 
he remained some time consulting Cap- 
tain Pike, the engineer who is to put 
the bridge through. ' Now, Captain,' 
asked the General, ' how many hours do 
you propose to use in bridging this river'?' 
' It depends upon how many men I may 
have, sir. If I have enough, you shall 
cross by two o'clock to-morrow.' I am 
afraid the entire lack of tools and lumber 
will put the Captain out in his calcula- 
tions, but we shall see. Pike will do 
his best. The General certainly puts men 
to their trumps. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Off 

" Camp near Warsaw, 
" October 19, 1861. 

" We have now got 

well to work upon the bridge. R. has 
been doing good service in the lumber 
department; the north side material being 
improvised from the debris of log-houses 
and barns, sacrificed for the occasion, the 
south side cut and hauled from the vir- 
gin forest. I had been variously em- 
ployed all the morning, writing and riding 
for the General; in the afternoon, he took 
part of the Body-Guard and went out on 
a little reconnoissance across the river. 
As he rode off he sent me down to help 
Captain Pike. ' See that he has all he 
wants; let there be no hitch; — see that 
everything moves' 

" So down I went, and having a rov- 
ing commission, became a sort of ' Jack- 



98 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

at-all-trades,' putting in wherever it seemed 
necessary, impressing teams and drivers, 
getting tools, ropes, and necessary ar- 
ticles, directing the pioneers in the woods 
where and what to cut, hauling the tim- 
ber from the woods, &c, &c. Pike with 
his efficient assistants, Shepley and Kern, 
were down on the bank, directing the busy 
workmen, and shaping the rough hewn 
trestles, measuring and cutting stringer 
and brace, fixing rope and chain and bolt, 
and putting through the more important 
preparatory work. Lieutenant Waring 
was in the woods, which rang with the 
axes of his pioneers, and the shouts of 
his teamsters, detachments from the ' fancy 
Body-Guard,' serving extempore in both 
capacities. And Colonel Shanks, M. C. 
and A. D. C, — the indomitable, indefatiga- 
ble, and tremendous, — was everywhere, driv- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 99 

ing, cutting, working in a manner wonderful 
to behold. Now in the forest, showing the 
workmen how to put the ox-chain on a log 
and 'snake' it through the brush; now 
knee-deep in the river, swearing at reluc- 
tant ' Dutchmen ' ; now driving an ox- 
team along the dusty road; — always effi- 
ciently at work, helping all, interfering 
with none. This, on the southern bank. 
The other side saw Raymond inexorably 
pulling down houses, barns, sheds, stables, 
— anything that could furnish the proper 
length and size of timber for this all-de- 
vouring bridge ; impressed teams hauling 
the materials to the bank ; refractory 
mules kicking and plunging in the water 
while taking the various necessaries to 
the central island ; quiet groups of steady- 
handed Germans getting the logs and 
planks ready to be put together in shape ; 



100 THE STORY OF THE GITAKD. 

in short it was as thorough a specimen 
of hearty, earnest, well-put work as one 
could wish to see. 

" Meantime, I was wandering about, a 
kind of odd wheel, but managing to ' turn 
up ' in the right place with such fre- 
quency as to keep me from being too 
lazy. Among other things, tools and 
spikes were needed. What easier than to 
gallop over to the town, get them and 
send them back in some unlucky wagon 
which should chance to be near % Well, I 
have seen easier things. Armed with the 
Provost Marshal's pass, I had to go into 
every store, question and cross-examine 
the secesh owner who < didn't care to 
sell,' and ' didn't know what he'd got ; ' 
root and ransack in every corner, trip 
and stumble through every cellar, over 
barrels and kegs innumerable ; and finally, 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 101 

for my pains, had scraped together a few 
augers, one or two sledges, half a dozen 
chisels, and — no more ! Then spikes 
were needed. Surely spikes are common 
enough in a frontier town. Vain hope ! 
They must be created. Clothed with ple- 
nary powers by the General, I was to take 
any forge and set to work any smith, — 
for The Bridge was all-important. 

" I went to one large forge with four 
fires, where about fifty horses were wait- 
ing and being shod, and to the infinite 
disgust of the various regiments whose 
horses were there, to the surprise of all 
the smiths, and with some explanation to 
their independent Western minds, that the 
General's order must pass over all others, 
I ' seized ' the fires, and set the men all 
at hammering out my spikes. The iron I 
had to find like the tools, in warehouse, 



102 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

cellar, barn, or store, or wherever it was 
to be found. 

" Thus, between forest, river, and town, 
I had to be lively. After supper I went 
down again, and saw them working by- 
moonlight and firelight. That was a pic- 
ture ! A gleaming fire at the foot of the 
dark, high, wooded bluff! The low, sandy 
island, far off and indistinet in the moon- 
light; the rushing river between, and this 
wild, solitary scene, made more weird and 
even more solitary by the busy groups of 
excited, earnest men. The shouting of 
voices, the clangor of blows, the creaking 
of ropes, and rattling of chains, mingled 
with the noise of the river, and occasion- 
ally when the grotesque, wide-spreading 
form of one of the huge trestles had been 
successfully lowered into the swift black- 
ness of the water, the long, loud shout of 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 108 

triumph drowned all else. But you will 
weary of all this detail, and I must get 
sleep for to-morrow's work. 

"H." 



"Banks of the Osage, 
" Oct. 19, 1861, late in the afternoon. 

" Thank you for your pleasant letters of 
encouragement, especially for that one 
which points to the future crowning re- 
sult, if God wills it so. And as events 
seem to have pointed out the way, I will 
keep my eyes steadily fixed in that direc- 
tion until the flag which floats above our 
army glows in the " insufferable light." 

" I put this letter of yours with Mr. 's, 

which reflects the color of my mind. They 
will keep my mind alive and vigilant and 
true to the great end which I shall now 
always see before me. 



104 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" I was made happy by finding Mr. ■ 

and Mr. as I rode into camp to-day. 

They were like home faces and trusty 
friends, full of pleasure to see, after 
the close contest with enemies which I 
have been waging - . I have arranged with 
them to hurry up my supplies and trans- 
portation the best they can, and I am sure 
they will do all that under the circum- 
stances is humanly possible, and with their 
aid I shall be able to do what I wish. I 
have from Captain Foote himself, and from 
them, better hopes for his cooperation than 
you were able to give in your letter of 
Tuesday evening. Don't fear ; if this 
thing is destined to be done, all will go 
right with us here. I shall keep my com- 
munications open, and will be able to give 
you intelligence of my movements, and at 
the same time, to hear from you, and keep 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 105 

informed of the enemy's movements on the 
Mississippi. I wrote to-day to General 
Smith. The guns destined for Price will 
never reach him, if I get my transportation 
in time. General Prentiss I shall be glad 
to see. I will send him directions when 
I get a little farther along. Day by day I 
will send you some little slip of what I 
want done. I begin to feel stronger. It 
pleases me to see how kindly disposed the 
people are to me, and how much trust 
they place in me. I did not know, until 
I received your letters to-day, what was 
the cause of the reinforcements being sent 
to Ironton. Tell Captain McKeever that 
his promptitude gives me pleasure. His 
dispositions were excellent, and the effect 
may reach farther than shows at first; 
still, as soon as the regiments can be 
spared and equipped with transportation, 



106 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

I want them hurried up in this direction, 
for the reason that, in certain contingen- 
cies, we should be beyond reach of rein- 
forcements, and obliged to rely on our- 
selves alone. 

" Zagonyi got no action, but brought 
back some useful spoils, — horses, wagons, 

cattle, provisions, &c 

"J. C. F" 

(zagonyi speaking.) 

" On the 18th of October about fifty men, 
personally with the General, crossed the 
Osage to have a little observation of the 
enemy on the other side. The General 
found out, through talking with citizens, 
that a body of men were starting to the 
rebel army, about twenty-two miles from 
Warsaw, on the Osceola road, south. He 
at once ordered me to proceed in the night 



THE STORY OF THE GUAKD. 10^ 

to find out if they are there. We arrived 
at eleven o'clock in the night, but was too 
late ; they left three days before, but found 
horses, mules, cattle, and about one hun- 
dred and twenty bushels of wheat, which 
we captured and handed over for General 
Sigel's brigade use. We left camp about 
four or five in the evening, arrived back 
next day about eleven — forty-five miles — 
without a bite of bread or meat, but a little 
mush made by ourselves at one in the night 
out of the captured corn flour ; we found 
some salt and a little molasses, — not I, but 
the others, did like and eat it. The horses 
had everything. But we did not have a 
blanket with us. It was so that we went 
out only to see the country, but finding 
on our way about these rebels so near, 
we went after them without turning back 
to make any preparation. The General 



108 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

sent for a company of Fremont Hussars 
to accompany us ; he did not leave us until 
they came up." 



" Banks of Osage, 
" Oct. 20, 1861 — 8 a. m. 

" Mr. and Mr. are harnessing 

up for their return. I have had much 
pleasure in their visits and the favorable 
impressions they have in regard to our 
present struggle. But the aspect I sup- 
pose will change from day to day, depend- 
ent upon what we may do in the field, 
and this depends upon our supplies. The 
army in Kentucky, and this one in the 
field should, without loss of an hour, be 
strongly and efficiently reinforced. In this 
way the war can be terminated this winter ; 
and it is treason to the country to put in 
peril the great stake at issue for the pur- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 109 

pose of gratifying private vengeance against 
an individual. Forward movements now, 
and no more trifling with the war and with 
the blood and treasure of the country. The 
mercantile interest of the nation demands 
peace, and it may be had by spring. 

" Say to Colonel Koerner that I have not 
a moment to write this morning. I will 
write to him. Meantime, thank him very 
warmly for his exertions in Illinois, and for 
their prompt result; — two regiments make 
a great acquisition just now. Ask him to 
continue for the present to work upon this 
project, and I will give him my ideas later. 
Thank him, too, for his despatch to the 
President respecting the pay of the officers. 
What reason can there be for not paying 
them except to discredit me 1 The Pres- 
ident said he would confirm my appoint- 
ments, and they were made accordingly; 



110 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

what then is the meaning- of the order not 

to pay them 1 is here. I will write 

you his intelligence if I have time. 

" What I have just learned from 

satisfies me that we can easily carry out 
what I have told you above, and depend 
on it if I am not interrupted, the victory 
is ours, thoroughly and entirely. Send 
me transportation, and I will go ahead 
" like a house on fire." .... 

" Send me forward all the regiments pos- 
sible. Arm them with the Austrian mus- 
ket as altered by Greenwood. We are 
receiving them at the arsenal at the rate 
of five hundred a day. In my judgment 
the enemy is greatly disconcerted by the 
taking of Paducah, and our movements 
here and the lower country. New Madrid 
and Memphis are open to us. Send the 
transportation, and send the regiments. . 

"J. C. F." 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. HI 

" Warsaw, 

"Oct. 22, 1861. 

" . Our army is sadly in want of trans- 
portation. The Department has been so 
crippled that the necessary wagons and 
teams could not be furnished ; and now 
we are on the verge of starvation — i. e., 
living on beef and salt — while plenty of 
commissary stores are at Tipton, fifty-five 
miles from here. In order to get more 
wagons, the baggage of the army is to be 
reduced to the ultimate minimum. The 
General sets the exo-aiple, sending back 
his mess-chest and trunk. We shall fol- 
low his example, and leave behind our camp 
beds, and all superfluous baggage. It's 
precious little I have to spare ; but I think 
I can bid a short farewell to clean linen, 
and reduce my table-equipage to the beef- 
pan and the salt-box. My dress-uniform 



112 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

must go, if I have to carry it under my 
arm; for we are bound to have a trium- 
phal entry and a Thanksgiving-Dinner at 
Memphis, to be followed up by a Christmas 
at New Orleans. Government must also 
furnish transportation for my meerschaum. 
It is coloring successfully. I shall make 
my first charge with it between my teeth 
— breathing fire and smoke. The whole 
army has been rejoiced by the discovery 
at this place of a large quantity of salt 
and tobacco — especially the latter. One 
plug has been issued to each man, to 
supply the lack of things to eat ; and the 
gallant host sends up but one voice : 
" Give us the luxuries of life, and we'll 
do without its necessaries." And the lux- 
ury we most desire can be had without 
money, but not without Price. 

"R." 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. H3 

"Warsaw, Mo., 

" Oct. 22, 1861. 

", .... Ros and I have been for the last 
three days very busy helping Captain Pike 
with his bridge. Ros being - detailed to the 
duty one day ahead of me, had charge of 
the department of supplying lumber for the 
north side of the bridge, and he put it 
through well. The General sent me to 
keep a general look-out, and see that 
there was no hitch, that everything went 
smoothly. 

"Major Frank White is just in, having 
made a detour from Georgetown, and with 
his one hundred and eighty men surprised 
and driven out the five hundred troops who 
were holding Lexington for the rebels, re- 
leased the prisoners, sent them down the 
river, remained in possession twenty-four 
hours and more, and escaping by night 



114 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

through the cordon which had surrounded 
him, marched down to us in a little over 
three days. He made a forced march of 
sixty miles from Georgetown to Lexington 
between sunset and sunrise, and thus sur- 
prised the rebels. We are proud of our 
messmate and with good reason, nest 
ce pas ? He captured Jackson's Secession 
State flag, which he has given to me. 
To-morrow he is off and away to the 
van. 

«H." 



VIII. 

OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AW AT. 

" Headquarters Western Department, 
" October 23. 
" Camp on road three miles beyond Osage River. 

" I made but a short camp yesterday 
evening - , having been delayed by the number- 
less detentions which necessarily surround 
myself. So many inexperienced officers, 
coming to me for the merest trifles, frit- 
ters away much of my time. Our bridge 
will not be finished until noon to-day, and 
Asboth's division will consequently be de- 
layed in its advance; but it will probably 
get across to-day, and meanwhile Sigel is 
going ahead. Tell Captain Foote to push 
on his preparations ; it will not be long 
before I send his orders to him. . . . 

"To-day is bright and pleasant. When 



116 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

the army leaves this it will march vigor- 
ously. We have already forced the enemy 
clear of nearly all the State, and our move- 
ment will effectually free the State of him 
for the winter. It had been his intention 
to overrun all North Missouri to the Mis- 
sissippi and go into Iowa. When I left 
St. Louis a large detachment of his force 
had already crossed the Missouri {vide 
Sturgis's and Prentiss's despatches.) My 
movement towards Georgetown drew him 
immediately back to the south side of the 
river, and the forward movement of my 
forces put him into a retreat which he is 
still prosecuting. War consists not only 
in battles, but in well-considered move- 
ments which bring the same results. We 
have made many movements of this kind 
for which no credit has ever been given. 

• • * • • 

"J. C. F." 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 1 YJ 

" Camp White, neae Lestdley's Ceeek, 
" October 24. 

" I have just had the triumphant satisfac- 
tion to read your note, enclosing the de- 
spatch from Col. Carlin. God and events 
are favoring us in the great work. All 
along our line the " insufferable light " be- 
gins to shine. I am so sorry for him ; * 

* Col. Baker, on his way from Oregon to the Senate, 
made in San Francisco a farewell address. It was in 
October, and he was urging the people to united action 
in the coming Presidential election. Suddenly stopping 
himself, he asked why he wasted time in urging to efforts 
for a victory already won ; — that the true subject to 
consider was the use to make of that victory ; — he gave 
them a rapid resume of the results of the Southern policy 
— its remorseless, unscrupulous manner of persecuting, 
even to death, men who were its powerful and success- 
ful opposers. Latest was his " murdered friend Broder- 
ick " (as Mr. Broderick himself said, " Killed because I 
opposed the extension of slavery and a corrupt adminis- 
tration"). And then came one of those perfectly beauti- 
tiful and artistic passages which gave Colonel Baker his 



118 THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 

— the way, after long waiting-, was just 
opening - . Make my warmest acknowledg- 
ments to Captain McKeever, and tell him 
to send them to Colonel Carlin and his com- 
mand. I will write from next camp. 
Washington now ought to be silent. We 
were just starting. I sent the despatch 
to the sharpshooters (Major Holman), and 
their answering shout just now comes to 
me. I send it also to Zagonyi (getting 
ready to start on the road below me). 
Major White made a bold and handsome 
dash into Lexington. I will send his re- 
port from next camp. We are six miles 
north of Quincy ; Sigel ahead, Asboth 

deserved fame as an orator — closing with a picture ot 
Liberty hunted, imprisoned, bound to the stake, her very 
ashes scattered to the winds. " I looked again, and I be- 
held her, throned on high, her garments white and shin- 
ing, and in her strong right hand the sword of Freedom, 
red with '■insufferable light.'" 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. H9 

next behind. I have a good letter from 
General McKinstry. He is pressing for- 
ward ; his advance will be in Warsaw to- 
day. Every way we are doing well. . . 

"J. C. F" 



"In the Field, near Humansville, 
" October 25, 1861. 

"... I came on this morning with 
a few of the Guard, Holman's sharp- 
shooters, and the Benton Cadets ; and, for 
the time, my headquarters constitute the 
extreme advance of the army. Gen. Si- 
gel's cavalry advance has just passed, and 
his division will be encamped to-night four 
miles ahead of me. Gen. Asboth's division 
is on the march, and will encamp to-night 
seven miles in my rear, on an open prai- 
rie country, around which a wooded creek 
sweeps. This would afford room for an 



120 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

army of forty thousand to encamp, and 
here perhaps the divisions which are be- 
hind, — Hunter's, Pope's, and McKinstry's, 
— will concentrate. General McKinstry is 
doing his best to get forward, and so, I 
suppose, are all now. 

•• I was encamped on a farm-ground, only 
seven miles in the rear, last night, at a 
very pretty place. From there I sent for- 
ward Zagonyi with nearly all the Guards, 
together with Major White's command, all 
under the command of Zagonyi. They 
left at night on an expedition, of which 
I will send you results when I hear. 

'■ Generally. I think we are doing well. 
Our forward march here has been con- 
ducted with all the rapidity possible, and 
we have scoured the country broadly as 
we advanced ; and, in my judgment, our 
whole movement can be characterized as 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 121 

very successful. Joined to the success at 
Ironton, — Missouri, it seems to me, stands 
out in vigorous relief. 

" We are anxious to know how affairs 
progress around the Potomac. The slip 
you sent me announcing 1 the death of Col- 
onel Baker, had not the result of the en- 
gagement at Poolesville. 

" To-morrow we expect a mail through 
from St. Louis. . . ... 

" In reply to Kcerner's telegram to the 
President, about the pay of officers ap- 
pointed by me, I notice that the Assistant 
Secretary of War calls these appoint- 
ments ' these irregularities ',' and says they 
will be corrected at the earliest moment. 
They were not irregularities, as we know. 
They were authorized by the President, 
and, therefore, strictly regular. But he 
may rest assured that the time for cor- 



122 THE STORY OP THE GUARD. 

rection will certainly come. But I don't 
think much of them now, and they have 
lost the power to sting-. ..... 

" Charley is well ; he is all right now.* 
He messes with me, and sleeps in my am- 
bulance (the chariot and four), and, with 
a buffalo robe and two blankets, has the 
most comfortable kind of quarters. 

• • • • • • * 

"J. C. F" 

* He had been kicked by a horse. Charley was my 
oldest boy, — only ten years old ; but he quoted " Casa- 
bianca " as a precedent, and carried his point of going 
with bis father. Major Zagonyi had been good enough 
to let him drill with the Guard, and although, of course, 
only an " honorary member," he wore the uniform and 
did some of the duties of a sergeant. When the Secre- 
tary of War reviewed the troops at Syracuse, Charley 
went through the review with great credit to his training. 
It was no small test to go successfully through a real re- 
view as part of several thousand cavalry. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 123 

" In the Field near Humansville, 
" October 25, — 7|- p. m. 

" I shall have news of a little action to 
give you by next express. I sent for- 
ward Zagonyi to strike a blow yesterday 
evening. I just received a despatch from 
him, informing me that the enemy has 
been reenforced at the particular point 
very considerably ; still, he goes on, and 
asks for reinforcements to be sent. He 
was but eight miles from the enemy when 
he wrote to me, at half-past eleven this 
morning ; it is now eight (evening). He 
went right on, and, I am afraid, will be 
rash. I sent immediately forward eight 
hundred cavalry and a section of artillery. 
By next express I will inform you. 

"J. C. F" 



(ZAGONYI SPEAKING.) 

" Just as we arrived in the camp, Yost's 
Station, October 24, I heard from some 
scouts that there were three or four hun- 
dred rebels in Springfield. I at once 
reported myself at the General's tent, 
and asked for permission to go for- 
ward. The General did not want to grant 
it directly ; he promised me that after an- 
other day's march will let me. He con- 
sidered it too far to go from that place. 
I retired, but in half an hour reported my- 
self again, begging for permission, trying 
to make the General believe that if he 
don't let me go they will run away from 
our approach ; remarking, with respect, 
that if he don't let me go, next morning 
he won't find me in the camp — that I 
will run away in the night. At last he 
gave his permission, if I take some addi- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 1Q5 

tional help. I told that plenty, enough, my 
own command ; but obeyed the orders, that 
it shall not be countermanded. We started 
at about nine o'clock in the evening'. Before 
starting, I intended to leave one officer in 
command with the remaining of my com- 
mand. It was a difficult work to select one. 
Trusting in one's quiet nature, Lieut. Ken- 
nedy, I gave him the orders to remain 
behind in command. With tears in his 
eyes begged me not to leave him be- 
hind ; he would consider that I did not 
put trust in him to go into the battle if 
I did not let him go along. But in the 
same time obeyed the orders. Half an 
hour later reported myself to the General 
before starting, and asked his permission 
not to leave my officer behind — none of 
them is willing to remain. The General 
gave his hearty consent, and congratulated 



l^Jt) THE STOKY OF THE UUAKD. 

my officers and men that they are so will- 
ing to see the enemy. 

" It was done quietly, so that the enemy 
should not hear of it ; but the men were 
very much rejoiced that the long prom- 
ised time came. 

" It was a cold night ; they shivered, 
poor fellows, and it was a little bit of 
rain on us during the night — there was 
not an overcoat in the Guard ; but we 
made twenty-five miles from nine till five, 
a. M. From five till half-past six we 
took a little rest, having a little cold 
meat in our haversack. For seven days 
we had had nothing but meat, without 
salt ; but still knowing we could do no 
better, there was no complaint. My scout 
found me a secession house, where we had 
plenty of sheaf-oats and hay." (I sug- 
gested they also could have had something 



THE STOEY OF THE GUARD. lg^ 

to eat — " Was no time in a small family 
to bake bread " — what there was they 
did get, but it was of no value.) 

" Started from there, and arrived at half- 
past eleven — eight miles from Spring- 
field — seventeen miles. Here we found 
out that the enemy is eighteen or nine- 
teen hundred strong. From this place I 
wrote despatch to General Fremont and 
General Sigel." 

(Among other " asides," I preserved the 
following, as exemplifying his inability to 
see what constituted " rashness.") 

" They call it a ' rash act.' How is it 
possible to say it so \ From half-past eleven 
till half-past four we knew we were to meet 
nineteen hundred men (but in reality twen- 
ty-two hundred), was time enough to recon- 
sider and cool down every rashness. Blood 
cools in five hours. It is so. Very nat- 
urally it could not be ' rashness.' 1 " 



1<28 the story of the guard. 
(copy from original in pencil.) 

"12 o'clock, A. m., 8 miles from 

Springfield, October 25, 1861. 

" General : — 

" The information on which I can rely is, 
that Vednesday evening fifteen hundred 
men came in Springfield, — and that at 
present there is not less than eighteen or 
nineteen hundred men. — I march forward 
and will try what I can do — in the same 
time I would be thankful if some reinforce- 
ment could come after me. Should I be 
successful I need them to hold the place, 
should I be defeated to have some troops 
to fall back with my worn-out command. 
" I will report shortly again. 
" With high respect, 

" Chs. Zagonyi, 
" Major Comm. Body Guard. 
" To Maj.-Gen. J. C. Fremont, 
"Comm. West. Dept." 



the stoey of the guard. 1^9 

(copy. ) 

"Headquarters Western Department, 
" October 25, — 7J p. m. 

" Your despatch is received. I send to 
you Colonel Carr with strong force of cav- 
alry and some artillery. I will send more 
if you need it. Let me know immedi- 
ately. 

(Signed) " J. C. Fremont, 

" Maj.-Gen. Com. 
" To Maj. Zagonyi, 
" Commanding Expedition to Springfield." 



(copy.) 

" Headquarters of the 3d Div. D. of the W. 
" Camp 10 miles from Bolivar, Oct. 25, 1861. 

" To Major Zagonyi, near Springfield : — 
" If there are eighteen hundred or nine- 
teen hundred men at Springfield with the 

intention to resist you, I advise you not 
9 



ISO THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

to make an attack against the town, but 
to watch the enemy and attack him when 
he leaves the town, which he will do, as 
soon as we approach Springfield. 

" I do not believe that the company or 
two of cavalry now under my command 
will be of great use to you, as they are 
not well prepared and have no sabres, but 
I will advance them nevertheless as soon 
as possible, to join you and to give yow 
assistance in case you should be repulsed. 

" The most necessary thing and your ob- 
ject should be, to send good and reliable 
information to us and to attack the enemy 
only in case you find him in a condition 
or in a position where you can with great 
probability defeat him instead of being 
defeated. 

" Two hundred men like yours can do 
wonders ; but to attack a town with cav- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 131 

airy only, when the enemy is prepared to 
receive them, is always a very critical 
thing. 

" I send to General Fremont and will 
wait for his orders. 

" Yours Respectfully, 
(Signed) " F- Sigel, 

" Act. Major-Gen '1 com'd'g 3d Div. 
" N B. — The troops under my command 
cannot be in the neighborhood of Spring- 
field before two days, except the cavalry, 
which can move quicker. Send me news 
as quickly as possible." 



(copy.) 

" By Telegraph feom Rolla, 
" 29th, 1861. 

" To Captain McKeever : — 

" Ambulances just arrived from Spring- 



182 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

field. Left Thursday night. Colonel Taylor 
with all his force left Springfield Friday, 
18th inst. Colonel Frazier with one thou- 
sand men came into Springfield Friday the 
25th. He is after three hundred sacks 
of salt taken from McClurg. Is pushing 
everything and ready to leave any moment. 

Reports Price at (telegraph blunder 

over name) Newton County ; reports all 
rebels leaving for Arkansas ; also reports 
Generals Fremont and Sigel at Bolivar. 

" This despatch gives the rebel force un- 
der Colonel Taylor and Colonel Frazier. 

"G. W. Dodge, 
" Col. Comm'd'g Post at Rolla." 



IX. 

springfield. 

(Zagonyi.) 

" After a brief stay we marched very 
slowly to give time to my scout t» bring 
me the best information from Springfield, 
which he did about one o'clock that the 
rebels hardly will face me, but will run. 
To meet them sure I left the Bolivar road, 
crossed over to the Osceola road, and from 
there to the Mount Vernon. In case 
they should retreat, to be before them. 
(Major White's command with me all this 
time. I left the big road at two and one- 
half hours. He should have been at most 
at twelve hours with me.*) 

* Some misunderstanding of orders separated the 



134 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

"About four o'clock I arrived on the high- 
est point on the Ozark mountains. Not see- 
ing - any sign of the enemy, I halted my com- 
mand, made them known that the enemy 
instead of four hundred is nineteen hundred. 
But I promised them victory if they will be 
what I thought and expected them to be. 
If any of them too much fatigued from 
the fifty-six miles, or sick, or unwell, to 
step forward ; but nobody was worn out. 
(Instead of worn out, it is true that every 
eye was a fist big.) I made them known 
that this day I want to fight the first and 
the last hard battle, so that if they meet 
us again they shall know with who they 
have to do and remember the Body-Guard. 
And ordered quick march. 

commands before the Charge, — although, unknown to 
the Guard, the Prairie Scouts did brave and efficient 
fighting on a distant part of the field. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 135 

" Besides, I tell them whatever we meet, 
to keep together and look after me ; would 
I fall, not to give up, but to avenge mine 
death. To leave every ceremonious cuts 
away in the battle-field and use only right 
cut and thrust. Being young, I thought 
they might be confused in the different cuts, 
and the Hungarian hussars say, " Never 
defend yourselves, — better make your en- 
emy defend himself and you go in." I 
just mention them that you know very 
well that I promised you that I will lead 
you shortly to show that we are not a 
fancy and only guard-doing-duty soldiers, 
but fighting men." 



" My despatch meant what I will do. In 
the hour I get the news my mind was set- 
tled. I say, Thank God, if I am to fight, 



136 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

it is not four hundred ! but nineteen hun- 
dred ! 

" I halt my men again and say, Soldiers ! 
When I was to recruit you, I told you you 
was not parade soldiers, but for war. The 
enemy is more than we. The enemy is 
two thousand and we are but one hundred 
and fifty. It is possible no man will 
come back. No man will go that thinks 
the enemy too many. He can ride back. 
(I see by the glimpsing of their eye they 
was mad to be chanced a coward.) 

" The Guard that follow me will take for 
battle-cry, ' Fremont and the Union and 
— charge ! ' 

' O the wild charge they made ! ' 

" Running down the lane between the 
cross-fire, the first company followed close 
(Newhall's), but the rest stopped for a 
couple seconds. I had not wondered if 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. lgy 

none had come, — young soldiers and such 
a tremendous fire, bullets coming like a rain. 
" As I arrived down on the creek I said 
aloud, ' If I could send somebody back I 
would give my life for it. We are lost 
here if they don't follow.' My Adjutant, 
Majthenyi, hearing, feared that he will be 
sent back, jumped down from his horse 
and busy himself opening the fence." 



" I expected to find the enemy on the 
other end of Springfield, but, unexpect- 
edly coming out of the woods to an 
open place, I was fired on in front of 
mine command. Halted for a minute, 
seeing that, or a bold forward march 
under a cross-fire, or a doubtful retreat 
with losing most of my men, I took 
the first, and commanded ' March ! ' 



138 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Under a heavy cross-fire, (in trot) down 
the little hill in the lane, — two hun- 
dred yards, — • to a creek, where I or- 
dered the fence to be opened — marched 
in my command, — ordered them to form, 
and with the war-cry of ' Fremont and 
the Union,' we made the attack. The 
First Company (Newhall'sJ, forty-seven 
strong 1 , against five or six hundred in- 
fantry, and the rest against the cavalry, 
was made so successfully, that, in three 
minutes, the cavalry run in every direc- 
tion, and the infantry retreated in the 
thick wood, and their cavalry in every 
direction. The infantry we were not 
able to follow in the woods, so that 
we turned against the running cavalry. 
With those we had in different places, 
and in differing numbers, attacked and 
dispersed, — not only in one place, but 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 139 

our men was so much emboldened, that 
twenty or thirty attacked twenty, thirty 
times their numbers, and these single- 
handed attacks, fighting here and there 
on their own hook, did us more harm 
than their grand first attack. By them 
we lost our prisoners. Single - handed 
they fought bravely, specially one, — a 
lieutenant, — who, in a narrow lane, wanted 
to cut himself through about sixty of us, 
running in that direction. But he was 
not able to go very far. Firing two or 
three times, he ran against me, and put 
his revolver on my side, but, through the 
movement of the horse, the shot passed 
behind me. He was a perfect target — 
first cut down, and after shot. He was 
a brave man; for that reason I felt some 
pity to kill him. 

" Young men was the guard — but re- 



140 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

markable and extraordinary it was they 
gone so nice through. 

" In this way the town was cleared. 
We went to their encampment, but the 
ground was deserted, and we returned 
to the Court-house, raised the company- 
flag on the Court-house, liberated prison- 
ers, and collected my forces together, — 
which numbered not more, including my- 
self, than seventy men on horseback. 
The rest, — without horses, or wounded, 
and about thirty who had dispersed in 
pursuit of the enemy, — I could not 
gather up ; and it was midnight before 
they reached me, — and some of them 
next day. 

" I never was sick in my life, Ma- 
dame, till what time I find myself leav- 
ing Springfield, in the dark, with only 
sixty-nine men and officers, — I was 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 141 

the seventy. I was perfectly sick and 
disheartened, so I could hardly sit in 
the saddle, to think of so dear a vic- 
tory. 

"But it ended so that fifteen is dead, 
— two died after — ten prisoners, who 
was released, and of the wounded, not 
one will lose a finger. In all seventeen 
lost." 



" One hundred and fifty started on the 
lane down. Thirty-nine or forty was dis- 
abled and thrown down — mostly horses 
hurt — and in the real attack was not 
more than one hundred and ten, — the 
highest number." 



" Half the battle is won, if you go into 
the fight with spirit and noise, and, mostly, 



142 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

the enemy is disheartened by it. Very- 
natural, going against them in fast trot, 
and with loud noise, they was not able 
to keep in order. They was not perfect 
soldiers, and their horses took fright, (I 
knew they would). Our horses was worn 
out, and, as general thing, our making 
noise did not frighten them, and our 
horses was more trained than theirs. 

" After this we had to retire, — leave the 
town in the hands of those who was with- 
out any horses. I was perfectly sure that 
the enemy never will return, but, as a 
soldier, I could not risk any possibility of 
their return. 

" My men and horses was so much 
worn out, they had not been able to take 
care of themselves, and less of a town. 
They were worn out, — hardly could speak, 
— hardly could sit in the saddle, from 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 143 

tiredness ; arms worn from keeping the 
horses from excitement back, and the 
other hand from the use of the sword 
was worn out that hardly could hold up. 
Faces blackened from powder and dust ; 
hungered out from five o'clock in the 
morning till this time, — six in the even- 
ing, — not knowing when we will have 
any more of anything, made them per- 
fectly useless." 



" As we dashed through the streets, the 
women came out from their houses to the 
gates of their gardens ; waved their hand- 
kerchiefs, and brought out flags, and did 
not frighten them at all, — the shooting 
and fighting. Captain Foley exchanged 
words with them, — inquired if there were 
any rebels \ Answered and told where, 



144 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

perfectly coolly, — was not afraid at all. 
Next day they took the greatest pains to 
attend the sick and the wounded, — bring- 
ing - them every delicacy, and attending to 
their comfort. As we left Springfield, was 
already dark, that we could not see ten 
steps ahead. 

" The bugler (Frenchman) I ordered him 
two three time to put his sword away and 
take the bugle in his hand, that I shall 
be able to use him. Hardly I took my 
eyes down, next minute I seen him, sword 
in the hand, all bloody ; and this he done 
two or three times. Finally, the mouth 
of the bugle being shot away, the bugler 
had excuse for gratifying himself in use 
of the sword. 

" One had a beautiful wound through the 
nose. My boy, I told him, I would give 
anything for that wound. After twenty- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 145 

four hours it was beautiful — just the 
mark enough to show a bullet has passed 
through ; but, poor fellow, he cannot even 
show it. It healed up so as to leave no 
mark at all. He had also five on his leg 
and shoulder, and the fifth wound he only- 
found, after six days ; he could not move 
easy, for that reason, he was late to find 
there was two wounds in the legs. In the 
attack, every one is worth to be mentioned. 
I make up my mind to name no names, 
when all was deserving mention. 

" Lieut. Kennedy [the " quiet-natured " 
officer] was wounded twice, — in the arm 
and in the side. The surgeons said he 
would lose it ; but he has not. 

" More than sixty horses were ' bul- 
letted ; ' seventeen carrying bullets were 
brought back to St. Louis." 
10 



140 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Every one who followed the infantry 
into the wood was killed ; but from an- 
other wooded place, several of the wound- 
ed were recovered. Corporal Dean, who 
was wounded severely in going- down the 
lane, was thrown where he could see his 
riderless horse charge with the Guard. 
Presently the horse returned, snuffing the 
air, and neighing. He called it by name, 
when it came running to him ; but, com- 
ing on the other side of the fence, after 
many ineffectual attempts to get to its 
master, it again made oflf to the rest. 

I think Wisa was the one whose life 
may be said to have been saved by 
the little terrier. This dog had joined 
the Guard on one of their excursions in 
the outskirts of St. Louis, coming back 
to camp with them, and keeping with 
them, not only there and all the time on 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. H>J 

the march, but charging with the Guard, 
and keeping up in the heat of the fray. 
As the day closed, he found himself by 
this wounded man, and, nestling to him, 
remained by him all night — sallying out 
of the wood at dawn, and, by his barking 
and actions, inducing a man whom he met 
to follow him to where Wisa lay, stiff and 
exhausted, with pain, and cold, and hunger. 
" Corporal " was the name of this little 
fellow, and, as the Knight's dog lies at 
his feet on the old tombs, a terrier 
couchant should bring up this story and 
be its " Finis." 



" Headquarters in the Field, 

"Western Department, 

" Oct. 26, 1861. 

" I am really delighted this morning with 

Zagonyi's brilliant action, and half at least 



148 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

of my delight is in the pleasure it will 
give to you. I send Captain Howard 
with the despatches to Captain McKeever, 
that he may forward them officially to 
Washington. 

" As I have already informed you, hav- 
ing learned on the 24th that three or 
four hundred of the enemy, with a large 
train, from Lebanon, were in Springfield, 
from which we were then forty-eight miles 
distant, I sent forward Major Zagonyi 
with one hundred and fifty of my Guards, 
and Major White with one hundred and 
eighty of his cavalry, the whole under 
Major Zagonyi, and with directions to dis- 
perse the enemy, take or destroy the train, 
and fall back upon our main body. I 
also ordered forward, in support, the cav- 
alry from Wyman's command, then ad- 
vancing by way of Cross Plains to Bol- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 149 

ivar. Yesterday evening - at half-past six 
I received the first despatch from Zagonyi 
informing 1 me that the enemy had been 
reenforced by fifteen hundred men, but that 
he should go forward and attack, and ask- 
ing that reinforcements should be sent to 
him. In half an hour it was on its way 
to him, and at nine o'clock left Sigel's 
camp, which is six miles in advance of us. 
The reenforcement was eight hundred cav- 
alry and one section of artillery. This 

morning, before day, Mr. was in 

my tent with your letters, and while he 
was giving me his news, one of Zagonyi's 
men arrived with his despatch, giving the 
account of his brilliant victory. I had all 
along promised this fine body of young 
men that I would give them an early 
opportunity for distinction. They have 
profited by it well. Zagonyi, on starting 



150 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

from camp, had left one of his officers 
in charge of the few of the guards neces- 
sarily left at camp. He came to me and 
told me that this officer was literally cry- 
ing at being left, and requested permission 
for him to go. Of course he went. Za- 
gonyi gives no details, but I am afraid, 
from what I can learn, that I have lost 
fifteen of them. I will send you details. 
His messenger met the reenforcement about 
three miles beyond Bolivar. Zagonyi was 
falling back upon it. I am moving for- 
ward, and to-night the advance of the 
army will be in Springfield. 

" Just at this moment I hear the shout- 
ing of the men who were drawn up to 
hear Zagonyi's despatch read. 

" I enclose a little note to the President. 
Send it or not as you think fit. If you 
send it, mark it ' Private ' on the outside. 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 151 

" This was really a Balaklava charge. 
The Guards numbered only one hundred 
and fifty. You notice that Zagonyi says 
he has seen charges, but never such a 
one. Their war-cry, he says, sounded 
like thunder. This action is a noble ex- 
ample to the army. 

" If you send it, take especial care that 
the letter to the President certainly reaches 
him. 

" I will now read my letters, of which 
I have a large package. I just glanced 
over your note to get its good, bright 
color, and answer by next mail, knowing 
that this is going to give you great pleas- 
ure and confidence 

"J. C. F" 

It will be remembered that the Presi- 
dent took no active part in military matters 



152 THE STORY OP THE GUARD. 

at that time, and the allied forces who dic- 
tated on Western affairs took care that no 
star for merit should find its way west- 
ward. 

They manage these things better in 
France. No French soldier felt his knap- 
sack too empty when it carried the possi- 
ble baton of a marshal. It had happened — 
why not to him too % — that the Emperor, 
passing as some heroic act was performed, 
detached his own cross of the Legion of 
Honor, and. himself fastened it on the sol- 
dier's breast — or he had said Moil brave, 
je te nomme Serjeant ou Capitaine, or 
whatever their mind suggested as nearly 
fabulous. But all were sure that their 
names never died out ; — at roll-call the 
living answered, for those who could speak 
no more, " Died on the field of honor." 
Courage and devotion could not go unre- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 153 

warded among them. Nor does Napier, 
in his elaborate History of the Peninsular 
War, disdain to pause and record the ex- 
ample of the nameless private, who at the 
siege of Badajoz, actually ran head-fore- 
most upon and into the palisade of sabres 
erected by the French. 

Suppose General Jackson had been the 
General to whom this request for Zagonyi's 
promotion was referred. Our frontier In- 
dians (who see a good, deal of garrisons, 
and have a certain grim humor) have their 
own name for such officers as have not seen 
service. " Peace Captains " they call them. 
Being a frontiersman, " a civilian you 
know — no military education whatever, 
nor any of that sort of thing," General 
Jackson might have made an Indian's dis- 
tinction in the case, and given rewards to 
the young heroes " red with the soldiers' 



13* THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

true baptism of the battle-field," rather 
than to the correctly prepared Peace Cap- 
tains. 



" In the Field, Bolivar, 
" Oct. 27, 1861. 

" As I told you I intended, our advance 
was in Spring-field last night and our flag 
flying there. Our troops were moving all 
night long on the road between this and 
Springfield, where I shall stop to-night. 

" By Mr. , who goes back to-day, 

I send you the secession flag captured by 
the Guards in the action at Springfield. 
I rode ahead last night to a house where 
was Zagonyi with some of our wounded, 
two of whom were officers. So far as I 
know at this moment, our loss in killed 
was fifteen, but I shall know better at the 
close of the day. The secession loss was 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 155 

severe. I will give you details to-morrow. 
The action lasted an hour and three quar- 
ters after the first charge. The secession- 
ists formed in line in their camp, and the 
Guards took down a fence under their fire 
before they could charge, — this, after the 
beginning in which the Guards received 
their fire, from which forty of our horses 
fell. One of our non-commissioned offi- 
cers had three horses shot under him, 
others several. We are obliged to leave 
sixty of their horses, more or less wound- 
ed. The action was continued through 
the town, which was cleared street by 
street, the Secessionists firing also from 
houses, fences, and other protection. Many 
of the men have lost their caps, and had 
their clothes torn to pieces, — as Zagonyi 
says, ' not any more fit to appear as 
Body-Guard. ' 



156 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

"Let me remind you that two of my 
Guard, accidentally wounded when Mr. 
Cameron was at Tipton, are at St. Louis. 
Will you have them looked up? Either 
already at St. Louis, or somewhere be- 
tween Tipton and St. Louis. Please 
have them cared for." 



X. 

AT SPRINGFIELD. 

" Springfield, Oct. 27, 1862. 

" All last night and to-day the troops 
were lining' the road on their march from 
Bolivar to this place. I arrived this af- 
ternoon, and have here the Third Divis- 
ion, under General Sigel, together with 
Colonel Marshall's regiment and Major 
Holman with his sharpshooters. The 
Guards of course. All these are active 
officers and good troops. General Sigel 
with a part of his division has formed the 
advance of the army, and on this march 
has again proved himself a good and 
skilful officer. 

" General Ashoth with his division will 
be up to-morrow night. General Pope is 



158 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

next on the road, and General McKinstry 
will probably come in the next, We made 
fine marching-. Yesterday Marshall's regi- 
ment of infantry made a hard march, and 
to-day they marched from Bolivar to 
Springfield, thirty miles, getting into their 
camp before dark. General Sigel with 
his whole division marched twenty miles. 
You will have many details of the good 
fight which the Guards made here, and 
every detail will go to show you what a 
brave charge it was. Three different regi- 
ments constituted the force here, under the 
command of Frazer and other colonels. 
I am pained that our loss has been so se- 
vere. As soon as I reached the town I 
rode to the hospital where I found four- 
teen of my brave Guards lying in their 
uniforms, side by side, in narrow, rough, 
plank coffins. One was brought in and 



THE STOEY OF THE GUARD. 159 

laid by them while I was in the room; he 
was quite young, a Kentucky boy, who had 
been, I think, a clerk in the company. 
He had been taken prisoner, and was 
brought in, — wretchedly beaten to death 
with muskets, apparently, — from about 
seven miles out. Another died in a room 
above while I was in the hospital. With 
two exceptions our wounded will proba- 
bly all recover. Charley recognized some 
of his particular friends among the killed, 
and cried and sobbed when he was telling 
me about it just now. On the other side 
eighty-three were killed, according to what 
can be learned here, and the wounded we 
cannot well know. Our officers apparently 
were singled out in the scattering fight 
through the town. Every one of them, 
officers and non-commissioned officers, lost 
from one to three horses during the fight. 



160 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Many horses had been buried before I got 
here, but twenty dead still remained on 
the field, and as I told you, we left sixty 
wounded twenty-five miles back. We 
have a good number of prisoners, some of 
them wounded, and some of their wound- 
ed are in and about the town. 

'• I wish Captain McKeever to send me 
up immediately all the rest of the Guards 
who are at St. Louis, with direction to 
follow me to my camp. Ask him to arm 
them thoroughly with sabres and revolv- 
es; — to have them otherwise thoroughly 
equipped and expedited through to me. 

" I send you the names of killed and 
wounded. Major White, who had been 
captured before the engagement, escaped 
and recaptured, and again escaped, is here 
with me only slightly hurt. So write to 

his mother." 

"J. C. F" 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 161 

" Springfield, Oct. 28, 1861. 
" A beautiful, cool, bright morning. The 
funeral of our Guards will take place to- 
day at one o'clock. You remember that 
I told you in the charge some forty horses 
fell, and the greater part of their riders 
necessarily were obliged to escape into the 
woods, being separated from the command 
and unable to get hold of other horses, as 
some did. I am afraid that a number of 
them will have been butchered by the 
enemy who hung around the town until 
the reinforcements got up, which was yes- 
terday at daybreak. I therefore may have 
a greater loss to tell you of, but hope not, 
— we don't know yet. Meantime, our 
men are greatly exasperated by condition 
of the boy brought in as I told you in 
my letter of yesterday, and by the hanging 

of a Union man and boy yesterday not 
11 



162 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

far off, by the secession troops. There- 
fore the parties which I have thrown for- 
ward over the neighboring country will 
do rough work if they come upon any of 
the enemy. Many scenes will interest 
you in the fight. The war will have noth- 
ing more splendid to record. Send me 
up a flag for the Guard when the re- 
mainder of them come up, and have 
them come quick. And they may hurry 
up the transportation now, for if it was 
intended in this way to keep us from 
moving, the plan has failed, and we hold 
to-day the key of the State. The Legis- 
lature intended to meet here. First at 
Neosho, and then here. Part of them 
were here a few days ago, but we rather 
hurried up their travelling. After a little 
I shall be able to tell you what plans I 
may form. I am getting a little uneasy 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 163 

about Paducah ; but General Smith is so 
good an officer, and the place so strong - , 
that I think I may trust it, with what 
will be done by other forces. The time 
for the funeral has come, and I close to 
let Express go at once. 

"J. C. F." 



" Springfield, Oct. 29, 1862. 
" I have nothing special this morning to 
tell you, — that is, nothing special done 
yesterday, and whatever it is that is to 
be done, it is never safe to trust to a let- 
ter. I attended the funeral of my Guards 
yesterday; they were buried with mili- 
tary honors. The Union people begin to 
raise their heads since our arrival, and a 
procession of Union women walked by the 
side of the cortege to the grave. I saw 



164 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

big tears falling from the eyes of the men 
who surrounded the graves. I have not 
time to write you the incidents ; — you 
must read what the reporters say. . . . 

" I must not forget to say that a portion 
of the men unhorsed in the charge and 
left behind, held the town continuously 
until the reinforcements arrived. The 
fence rails are in many places riddled with 
balls where the action took place, and 
within the wood where our people charged 
upon the infantry, I saw yesterday four 
horses of the Guard lying dead within ten 
steps of each other, in one group. A little 
dog, (terrier,) " the Corporal," belonging 
to the Guards, charged with them, and re- 
mained on the field until twelve at night, 
sitting by the side of one of the wounded 
Guards, who was not brought in until that 
time. Another one of the Guards was 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 165 

brought in last evening from a distance of 
eight miles, — a prisoner and murdered, 
like the one I told you of in my letter of 
yesterday 

" The loss of the Guards, so far as ascer- 
tained,* is fifty-two in killed, wounded, and 
missing — one third of the whole number. 
I sent out strong reconnoitring parties 
yesterday. At night some prisoners were 
brought in : a Lieutenant-Colonel Price 
and fourteen others. It is thought that 
among the force routed here was a regi- 
ment from Arkansas. The weather con- 
tinues fine. ..... 

" I notice in one of the Journals that it 
was upon a Report by Adjutant-General 
Thomas of his examination into the ad- 
ministration of my department that the 

* The real loss was reduced to seventeen, by ex- 
change of prisoners and recovery of wounded. 



166 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Cabinet met in council. A bitterly hos- 
tile and .... Adjutant-General to ride 
through, my department and pronounce 
upon my conduct, without producing any 
authority from the President, who only 
was competent to order such an injurious 
proceeding, and without any intimation to 
me of such a purpose ! Let them go 

on 

"J. C. F" 



XL 

THE DEAD. 

" The land is full of farewells to the dying, 
And mournings for the dead." 

Major Corwine told me that when the 
Kentucky Company was leaving Cincin- 
nati, the train was surrounded by their 
friends, — " more pretty girls than I ever 
saw together before — crying, but looking 
brave, and willing for them to go." 

For these same dear ones other women 
shed tears, — women who, daring to look, 
first saw them as they charged through 
the streets of their home, and gave their 
answering prayers to the wild battle- 
cry for the Union ; — these women fol- 
lowed, grateful and weeping, those who had 



168 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

brought back to them the protecting flag; 
— but now 

" Red hand in the foray 
How sound is thy slumber ! " 

I have been told of one of these much- 
tried women, who painfully and with the 
aid of crutches, followed in this funeral, 
that her husband and son had both been 
killed, and herself wounded, by a guerilla 
party. Robbed also during Price's occu- 
pation of Springfield, she was quite de- 
pendent on a son-in-law. In the fighting 
through the streets he was accidentally 
killed. And yet this woman could and 
did do honor by her presence to those 
who had deprived her of her last support. 
And this was the kind of people from 
whom all protection was withdrawn ! 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 169 

" Cumminsville, Nov. 2, 1861. 

" Dear Sir, — 

" I received your letter of October 30, 
and thank you kindly for its favor. Your 
dispatch in the ' Gazette ' of this morning 
moved us to tears, as did also the list of 
killed and wounded in the ' Enquirer,' 
copied from the ' St. Louis Republican.' 
William Vanway, one of our neighbors, 
is among the dead. He was one of a 
very fine family. His father died about 
a year ago, and news has just arrived of 
the death of his brother, in Western Vir- 
ginia, in the Guthrie Gray Regiment, and 
right upon that is the death of William 
at Springfield. The mother is overwhelmed 

at her loss 

"Very truly your friend, 

"J. F Lakeman. 

" To Major E. M. Coewine, 

" A. D. C. and Judge Advocate." 



170 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

When some great grief leaves one blinded 
and dizzy, with no power to comprehend 
the uprooted life or accept its new condi- 
tions, — then through the helpless, fevered 
mind come floating consoling words of 
Scripture, — verses that seemed so far off 
but a little while ago are now stamped 
vividly and forever in new meaning on our 
changed lives. 

" Who ne'er his bread in sorrow ate, 

Who ne'er throughout the midnight hours 
Weeping, upon his bed has sate, — 

He knows ye not, ye Heavenly Powers." 

As in those pictures where the fewer prin- 
cipal figures are relieved against a ground- 
work of shadowy faces filled with unutter- 
able woe, so back of our armies in the field 
I see that noble army of martyred women 
who " dwell in the shadow of the moun- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 1^1 

tain." Theirs is the " dull, deep anguish 
of patience," — they are being trained to 
endure. For them the most we can do 
is so sadly little ; but " the end shall 
tell." 



" To weary hearts, to mourning homes, 
God's meekest angel gently comes ; 
No power has he to banish pain, 
Or give us back our lost again ; 
And yet, in tenderest love, our dear 
And Heavenly Father sends him here. 

" There's quiet in that angel's glance, 
There's rest in his still countenance; 
He mocks no grief with idle cheer, 
Nor wounds with words the mourner's ear ; 
But ills and woes he may not cure 
He kindly trains us to endure. 



172 THE STORY OF THE GUAKD. 

" Angel of Patience ! sent to calm 
Our feverish brow with cooling palm, — 
To lay the storms of hope and fear, 
And reconcile life's smile and tear; 
And throbs of wounded pride to still, 
And make our own our Father's will ! 

" Oh thou, who mournest on thy way ! 
With longings for the close of day, 
He walks with thee, that angel kind, 
And gently whispers, ' Be resigned, — 
Bear up, bear on, the end shall tell, 
That God has ordered all things well.'" 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 



173 



"DEAD ON THE FIELD OF HONOR.' 



Those who were killed in action at Springfield, Mis- 
souri, on the 25th October, 1861, were — 
Co. A. 
Corporal D. F. Chamberlain, St. Louis, Mo. 

St. Louis, Mo. 



St. Louis, Mo. 
St. Louis, Mo. 
St. Louis, Mo. 
St. Louis, Mo. 



Corporal Julius Baker, 
Wagoner F. C. Frantz, 
Private George Dutro, 
Private Herman Fry, 
Private Louis Osburg, 

Co. B. 

Corporal Francis Schneider, St. Louis, Mo. 
Private Dennis Morat, St. Louis, Mo. 

Private J. Nellmann, St. Louis, Mo. 

Private Mitchell Rose, St. Louis, Mo. 

Private G. M. Schrack, St. Louis, Mo. 

Private William Wright, St. Louis, Mo. 

Co. C. 
Corporal John Morrison, 
Corporal William Vanway, 
Private E. Davis, 
Private Alexander C. Linfoot, Covington, Ky. 



Indiana. 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Hamilton Co., Ohio. 



XII. 

THE BEGINNING OF THE END. 

St. Paul asks, " Who goeth a warfare 
at any time of his own cost 1 ? or who 
planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the 
fruit thereof \ " 



" Springfield, October 30, 1861. 
" I received your note of Thursday night 
yesterday morning. A little postscript, 
added on Friday morning, tells me that the 
reports concerning my removal and Gen- 
eral McClellan's victory were not confirmed. 
I assure you I am getting pretty well 
tired of being badgered in this way. I 
ought to have all my energies here em- 
ployed against the enemy, and all the aid 
from Washington, moral and physical, that 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. \J5 

the government can give. In daily expec- 
tation of being removed, my subordinate 
officers encouraged in disobedience by the 

conduct of , and the rigid 

rule which should govern an army moving 
in face of the enemy disregarded by supe- 
rior officers, it becomes nearly impossible 
for me to calculate upon the execution of 
any plan. I cannot and I do not rely 
upon the success of any combination I may 
make, because I am not able to rely upon 
the execution of the orders I send back. 
In fact, I do not now venture to make 
any combinations. Our success to this 
point is due to taking just what force I 
could gather around me and moving right 
along, regardless of the rest, and trusting 
to our own ability to provide resources 
for all contingencies. But I am getting 
tired of this business. You can see, and 



176 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

it is plain to be seen, that in this way the 
success of the war and the interests of the 
country are put at great hazard. As I 
said to you, in the means taken to break 

me down, are certainly 

betraying - the interests of the country. 
Now was the time, the accepted time, for 
making- great progress in the war, but 
the days of the Republic are being num- 
bered while the power of the government 
sleeps. So I am getting tired of all this, 
and you must not be surprised, if this 
goes on, to find me throwing up the reins. 
But I will be governed by the events of 
the next few days. 

" General Asboth arrived with his divi- 
sion yesterday. Hunter is reported coming 
up next behind him, ( 

) 

Pope next, and McKinstry said to be in the 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. IJ'J 

rear. Notwithstanding some hard marches 
that I have given them, and scarcity of the 
usual food, the troops are in the best pos- 
sible disposition. The Zagonyi charge has 
given tone to the army, and we see it 
already working. I have the satisfaction 
to tell you that my Delawares came in 
yesterday afternoon, — Fall-Leaf, who has 
been with me before, and fifty of his good 
men. They are encamped here close by 
me. 

" All reports so far fix the enemy at 
Neosho up to Monday afternoon. To-day I 
shall probably have positive information in 
regard to them. I am in communication 
with General Price, concerning exchange of 
prisoners and some other points. The weath- 
er is fine to-day. Lieut. Heppner arrived, 
and I take him with me this morning, to se- 
lect ground for General Hunter. I expect to 

12 



178 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

see Howard to-morrow night, and I think he 
probably will bring me some definite intel- 
ligence regarding Washington. You must 
not think me discouraged when I say I 
am tired of this; but I am impatient. I 
feel outraged at their continued indignities, 
and I am always asking myself, Cui bono? 
Why do I endure \t\ They are sapping 
my character ; why not at once protest 
against them 1 So don't think me dis- 
couraged. I feel well, strong, and ready 
for any emergency, and, above all, I feel 
the most unqualified contempt for ... . 
And how does the nation endure it 1 Con- 
tending for great principles, — a vital war, 
— how can the people stand quietly by, 
and see their blood and treasure so thrown 
away 1 Squandered by demagogues in per- 
sonal cabals., when the true objects of the 
war, taken together, are probably the 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. IJQ 

grandest for which a nation ever con- 
tended in arms, — its own national exist- 
ence, and the fate of one of the quarters 
of the world ! But there is no use, now 
and here, to talk of this. 

" Didn't we do a good thing in striking 
so far and so deadly a blow, and throw- 
ing the head of our column so suddenly 
into the key of the South'? It took them 
all by surprise, — friends and enemies. In 
their retreat through the country, the ene- 
my reported that they were attacked by 
2500 men. . . . 

"I send special messenger for the Guards. 
Hurry up Constable's Battery, if it is in 
any way possible to get him ; and a thou- 
sand of the Austrian altered muskets would 
be most acceptable, if we could have them 
sent at once. All, of course, if I am to 
remain here. 



180 THE STOEY OF THE GUARD. 

" It may show you the willingness of the 
German troops to do their duty, to say 
that General Asboth's division had nothing 
but meat for four days, and the General 
reports that they have nothing else to-day. 
Still they have done their duty well and 
cheerfully, although their health must suf- 
fer 

"J. C. F." 



" Headquarters Western Department, 
"Springfield, Oct. 30, 1861. 



Li 



"Ere this, I doubt not, Adlatus Jack 
will have reached you, with his public 
budget of ' glorious news,' and his private 
package of items of personal adventure 
and experience. Nevertheless, I write you 
a few lines by the morning express ; for 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 181 

I doubt much whether the Captain's pri- 
vate package will find time to be opened, 
and I know that by the time this reaches 
you, he will be again at his post, and a 
word from his brother-in-arms will not be 
unacceptable. 

" At the same time, you must excuse the 
unfamiliar look of this handwriting. Dr. 
Tellkampf has just performed a slight 
surgical operation on my right hand, and I 
am obliged, on account of bandages, &c, 
to hold my pen in an entirely new man- 
ner. I always felt, intuitively, that that 
man would draw my blood at the first 
decent opportunity, with malignant satis- 
faction. However, I will not scoff at 
him, since he has saved me from a ' fel- 
on's doom.' 

" We are in Springfield, and occupying 
the old headquarters of General Lyon. 



182 THE STOEY OF THE GUAED. 

Sigel has his own former quarters. As- 
both is encamped about half a mile from 
us. The other divisions have not yet ar- 
rived. 

• ••••■ 

" Let me turn to some pleasanter subject, 
— say the dust. Oh, plagues of Egypt! 
will you oblige me by paling your ineffec- 
tual fires'? The Dust is conqueror here. 
I have seen my own proud chieftain bow 
before it, his glory obscured and hidden 
in its cloudy folds. Ralph and his wisp 
broom are as Mrs. Partington and her 
mop before it. Our tents are pitched in 
a yard, close on the street ; and, as a 
consequence, the street comes often into 
camp. We see one another darkly ; we 
feel gradually the great truth that we are 
but dust ; we bite the dust in our humility. 
There is but one antidote which is here 



THE STORY OF THE GUAED. 183 

in sufficient quantity, — Contrabands. With 
five darkeys, one can keep clean just five 
minutes ; but the operation of being brush- 
ed is wearisome after the first half hour. 
But, seriously, it is a very interesting- 
sight the number of slaves who have 
fled to us from secession masters. One 
man now in my employ was waiting in the 
woods two months ' fur dis yer crowd 
to come,' — as he irreverently spoke of 
our army. He had been handcuffed and 
whipped, and ran away. His master was 
formerly good to him, but had treated 
him harshly since the loss of Springfield. 
One other I have, — a clear-eyed, bright 
quadroon boy. He and his brother are in 
camp, and I hope mine will turn out so 
well suited to me that I can take him 
back to the North when we return. 
Every one on the staff is getting rapidly 



184 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

supplied with his necessary article. The 
camp swarms with contrabands of various 
hues. The two brothers of whom I 
spoke are so white that I could not be- 
lieve them slaves. The abolitionists per 
se in our midst — Colonel Lovejoy and 
others — find their hands full. Sable 
visitors come to the gallant Colonel at all 
hours, and are not turned away. 

• • • • " • 

" Wamba appears to command my pres- 
ence in the ' pavilion,' (where there is just 
room for two.) He winks as usual, and 
calls me Mr. Hayball. If I undertook to 
set him ri^ht, he would wink himself into 
an apoplexy over the sudden idea, — so I 
let it rest. . 

" As for your humble servant, he has 
been busy enough since the departure of 
Captain Howard ; and hopes he has not 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 185 

utterly failed in his attempt to supply the 
deficiency made by that Adlatus' absence. 
In addition to various other charges and 
duties, I am accidentally the chosen vic- 
tim of the Delaware Indians, to the num- 
ber of fifty-two, who bring- their troubles 
and desires to me. Fall-Leaf commands, 
and Johnny-cake interprets them. Be- 
hold the bound which no Adlatus shall 
dare to pass, — the end, I mean, of the 
first four pages. This may be the last 
letter the ' lieutenant ' writes you. I feel 
sure we shall see the enemy erelong, — 
and the enemy has promised me a cap- 
tain's straps. R." 



For the week following the twenty-fifth 
October, Springfield saw good days. The 
long subjection to the rebels was over, 



186 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

and the Unionists were exultant. For the 
first time, since early in August, they 
were in communication with the rest of 
the country. Daily mails now ran to St. 
Louis ; an officer in uniform could travel 
alone by stage the whole distance, — a 
thing impossible when we reached St. 
Louis, even between the arsenal and head- 
quarters. The General had made an 
agreement with General Price, by which 
hostilities were to be confined to the res'- 
ular armies in the field, and guerrilla par- 
ties of both sides suppressed ; rebels were 
offered protection on laying down their 
arms, and observing all the laws ; and 
irresponsible arrests by any Federal sol- 
dier or official, for differences of opinion, 
were also prohibited. General Price had 
with him some ten or fourteen thousand 
Missourians, who did not wish to cross 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 187 

into Arkansas, and if they could secure 
protection, they were more than willing 1 
to lay down their arms, and live in peace. 
To keep them so would have been our 
affair afterward ; but it was an army dis- 
persed, and a victory gained without blood- 
shed, to carry out this agreement. 

This agreement, so unmistakably for the 
best interests of Missouri, was annulled im- 
mediately upon the removal of General Fre- 
mont, when the order to reverse the engine 
went into effect. But, while the negotia- 
tions were going on, the General only 
waited for the delayed divisions to give 
battle. 

"Headquarters Western Dept., 
"Springfield, Nov. 1, 1861. 

• •••••• 

" But first let me say how well I found 
the General, — looking splendidly, in cap- 



188 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

ital spirits, very glad to get news from 
home, very much pleased with the photo- 
graphs, and ' entirely satisfied ' with the 
' ver y good time ' in which my little task 
had been completed. Do not think that 
I impute my own lively emotions to the 
General, who is generally reserved in ex- 
pression of his feelings. All of the above 
statements, except the splendid appearance, 
are from his own lips. He is only a lit- 
tle annoyed that the other divisions have 
been so slow in coming up, as he wishes to 
strike while he has the opportunity of a 
standing, not a retreating foe. But they 
are expected along to-day or to-morrow. 

" I arrived in Springfield on Thursday 
morning, at ten o'clock, — three days and 
two hours after leaving you in St. Louis, 
— and should have been here the day be- 
fore, had I not been obliged to bring one 



THE STORY OF THE GUAKD. 189 

horse all the way through (and a borrowed 
one at that), and so was exercised in my 
mind lest he should be disabled, and fail 
me on the way ; but he brought me 
through beautifully. 

" I can tell you, the change from camp 
to St. Louis and to the road again, was 
something rather dazzling — or, perhaps, 
dazing — in its effects ; and although I 
enjoyed my brief visit extremely, I feel 
that it must have been unsatisfactory to 
you, from the many things which I 
now remember I had to tell you. How- 
ever, I console myself that it was only 
the gossip which was left out, — the news 
I gave. Just twenty-four hours after I 
was sitting in the 'luxurious dining-room 
of the Oriental palace ' with you all to 
talk to, and a nice supper before me, 
I lay on the ground under a tree, talk- 



190 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

ing with a rough orderly, and munching 
a piece of hard bread and a bit of cold 
meat. 

• •••••• 

" They ran, taking White with them. 
About twelve miles distant they, his 
guard, stopped at the house of a Union 
man, who, when he learned that White 
was a prisoner, went out and collected 
about seventeen Home Guards. Frank, 
hearing them outside, slipped out, and 
heading them, captured his captors, and 
brought them back to Springfield. Here 
he found Zagonyi's dead and wounded, 
and his two flags flying, but only a 
few members of the Body Guard, and 
some of his own men, amounting in 
all to twenty-six. With these men he 
held the town, placing out pickets all 
around, leaving a reserve of his sick 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 191 

self and one lieutenant, for twenty-four 
hours, till Sigel entered. He so acted 
as to make the enemy suppose Sigel 
already there ; received a flag of truce 
from them, gave them permission to bury 
their dead and take their wounded, and 
carried the whole thing through with a 
bold face. H." 



" Springfield, Nov. 1, 1861, 

" 10 A. M. 

" The rebel Legislature passed a seces- 
sion ordinance at Neosho and adjourned 
to Cassville. Three days since, their en- 
tire army came out of their lines at 
Neosho and directed their course east- 
ward and southwardly, moving across 
our front and threatening us by advanc- 
ed corps pushed forward on the road to 
Mount Vernon, and on the road from 



192 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Cassville to this place. The entire strength 
of Price's army is reported at 33,000. 
As I advised you might be the case, I 
am disposed to think that Pillow or 
Hardee's force may be moving across the 
country to join them. But I shall soon 
know, and it makes very little dif- 
ference to me whether they have ten or 
fifteen thousand more or less when I 
get my little army concentrated. Has- 
sendeubel's regiment will join us this 
morning. Lane and Sturgis will be in 
with their forces by noon. Pope will 
probably be in with his division by 
nightfall, and McKinstry with his to- 
morrow. I had been misinformed about 
General Hunter. He had been re- 
ported as being near Quincy, but his 
own report, which I received two days 
since, left him at Mount View, about 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 193 

fifteen miles this side of Warsaw. He 
had sent back a supply train for pro- 
visions, and was intending- to wait for 
it. Yesterday at 2 a. m. I sent him a 
despatch, directing 1 him to come forward. 
The force is rapidly getting into excel- 
lent condition, and I really think can 
whip the enemy two to one. I shall 
move with all the skill that I can 
bring to the work, and at the same 
time with as much rapidity as is con- 
sistent with it. Your letter by Captain 
Howard, was very pleasant to me. I 
am very glad to see that our move- 
ments have given so much satisfaction 

to our friends 

" Meantime, whatever force remains be- 
hind, hurry in. I received yesterday the 
despatch, which I enclose to Captain Mc- 
Keever, from Governor Randall. I direct 

13 



194 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

him to order the regiment immediately 
to St. Louis, thence to Rolla to replace 
Colonel Gessler's regiment, which I desire 
to come here to me in the field direct, 
the very moment it can leave Rolla. I 
am pleased to see that Constable's Bat- 
tery has left. We want all the sabres that 
can come, and revolvers, and also all 
the altered Austrian muskets that can 
be spared. Hurry up the Guards, and 
have the requisition for their clothing 
filled. I think it is going to snow — 

it looks and feels like it 

"J. C. F" 



" Springfield, Nov. 2, 
" 9i, A. M. 



" I now look to see the supply trains 
come up. In my judgment, it is abso- 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 195 

lutely certain that if we could have had 
them so as to have brought up the 
other divisions to this place concurrently 
with myself, we should have before this 
routed Price and captured his baggage- 
trains. I trust in you to do all that 
can be done. It would have been a 
good thing, if Major Allen had gone to 
Tipton to push the supplies forward. 
Make thanks to our friends Captain 
Foote and Major Corwine, and partic- 
ularly to Colonel Fiala. Tell bim I ap- 
preciate fully his fidelity and ability, and 
would have been glad, had I been able, 
to carry out all his able suggestions in 
regard to St. Louis and the Mississippi 
line. . . . 

" The enemy's movements are still a 
little uncertain ; — scouts, spies, and other 
information reported last night his ad- 



196 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

vance a little nearer, but to-day will 
give us more positive information. Their 
intention is reported to occupy Wilson's 
Creek, and have a battle on the same 
ground as the other in August last. I 
don't believe it, and think they would 
have rather a merry time in carrying 
out their point. I am just sending out 
a strong reconnoitring party to make a 
military map of the old battle-ground 
and vicinity of Wilson's Creek. Hassen- 
deubel's regiment, and Generals Sturgis 
and Lane got in with their forces yes- 
terday. McKinstry with his division will 
be in to-day. Pope ought to reach here 
to-day or to-morrow. We are all right 

here 

" Meantime, have Capt. McKeever send 
off the Fitz H. Warren Regiment to 
me — all of it if possible — and Colonel 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 197 

Crafts Wright's regiment. Tell him, if 
it be not already done, to order it off 
instantly and peremptorily; if the order 
be not instantly obeyed, to place the 
Colonel in arrest by my order, and every 
other officer, if necessary. Hurry up the 
Guards. I suppose, if I am to remain 
in command, it will be settled by the 
time you receive this, definitely one way 

or the other 

" Captain just read me a letter, 

through a reliable source, which gives 
the contents of a despatch from Washing- 
ton, dated October 28. Despatch says . 
' General Scott retires from the command 
of the army on account of his infirm- 
ities. Orders from the Commander-in- 
Chief have been sent by the President to 
General Curtis at St. Louis, to be deliv- 
ered to General Fremont, unless he is in 



1Q8 THE STORY OF THE GUARD 

front of the enemy, or pursues him to 
give him battle. The orders direct Gen- 
eral Fremont to surrender his command 
to the next officer, General Hunter.' It 
is quite time that all this should cease. 

" Nov. 2d, 10|. — I have just received 
the order relieving me of my command, 
directing me to turn it over to General 
Hunter. Get quietly ready for immediate 
departure from St. Louis. I shall leave 

this place forthwith for St. Louis 

"J. C. F" 



XIII. 

THEIR RETURN. 

" Return Road, near Bolivar, 
" Tuesday, Nov. 5, 1861. 

" So far on our return road, all is good 
health, good spirits, and satisfied mind. . . 

" It seems to me simply a laid-out piece 
of work, in which I have been doing my 
part. 

" I received General Scott's order to turn 
over the department to Hunter, on the 
2d, and the same day I had printed 
and published the brief General Order, 
transferring my command to him, and 
the enclosed address to the army. 

" I send Raymond forward to make 



200 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

the railroad arrangements, and advise you 
of us. We propose to embark on the 
cars on Thursday night, and reach St. 
Louis early on Friday; — the Sharpshoot- 
ers, Body Guard, and a few of the Staff, 
together with all our horses. Further 
advices by telegraph. Day is breaking, 
and we must be on the road. Good- 

by — plenty of love to ■ and , 

and regards to all friends. 

" The order reached me when I was 
in face of the enemy and manoeuvring 
with him, he being nine to twelve miles 
distant. Hunter came in the night, after 
the order of march and battle had been 
written, and six the next morning the 
hour appointed for the march against the 
enemy. All right. I think now there 
will be no battle. 

"J. C. F" 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 201 

The General was to have been at home 
by nine in the morning ; but the manage- 
ment of the trains being in other hands, 
they were delayed until nearly that hour 
in the evening. But patient crowds had 
kept their watch through the long day, 
and by night it was a sea of heads in all 
the open spaces around our house. The 
door-posts were garlanded, and the very 
steps covered with flowers, — touching and 
graceful offerings from the Germans. 
China-asters and dahlias, with late roses 
and regular bosquets of geraniums, beau- 
tified the entrance and perfumed the air ; 
and when the General did make his way 
at last through the magnificent assemblage, 
it was to be met by the wives and chil- 
dren of the German officers he had left 
at Springfield. Unknown to me, they 
had come to speak their hearts to him, 



202 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

but they had more tears than words. 
Touched to the heart already, the Gen- 
eral was not prepared for the arrival 
of citizens — American as well as German 
— who came to thank him for past services, 
and ask to stand by him in the hour of 
disgrace. Meantime, the unceasing cheers 
and shouts of the vast crowd without 
sounded like the tide after a high wind. 
I could not stand it ; I went far up to 
the top of the house, and, in the cold 
night air, tried to still the contending 
emotions, when I saw a sight that added 
to the throbbing of my heart. Far down 
the wide avenue the serried crowd was 
parting, its dark, restless masses glowing in 
the lurid, wavering torchlight, looking liter- 
ally like waves; — and, passing through 
them, came horsemen stamped with the splen- 
did signet of battle, their wounded horses 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 203 

and bullet-torn uniforms bringing - cries of 
love and thanks from those for whom they 
had been battling - . When they halted be- 
fore the door, and the sudden ring and 
flash of their drawn sabres added new 
beauty to the picture, I think only the 
heart of a Haman could have failed to 
respond to the truth and beauty of the 
whole scene. Were not these men for the 
king to delight to honor X Who could 
have foreseen what was the official recog- 
nition already preparing for them 1 



Before getting the General's request for 
a flag for them, I had already had one 
made, and they came in the morning to 
receive it. By day their war-worn ap- 
pearance was still more touching. As I 
looked, how I wished ' that I might utter 



<204< THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

the thoughts that arose in me ; ' but I could 
only ask Major Zagonyi to say for me how 
I felt the honor they had brought on our 
name, and that they would find I did not 
forget them. After he had carried them 
the flag, and said something, which we 
were too far off to hear, they returned to 
their camp (for the Guard was never in 
quarters, and lived in open camp even 
in St. LouisJ. 

I give the following note as Zagonyi 
sent it to me — 

" I thank you, Madame, sincerely, in 
the name of my officers and men, for the 
mark of your regard in giving us this 
beautiful flag. Was a profound regret to 
them and to me that we return from the 
field with so short a glimpse of the rebel 
army. 

; ' As we followed our leader past the 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. £05 

outside pickets around Springfield, our 
band performed their gayest music ; but 
to me was like a funeral dirge. And it 
was a funeral — there were buried the 
fruits of three months' labor of the Gen- 
eral, — the aspiration of thousands of am- 
bitious men who followed his standard, — 
and gone, too, the hope of patriots that 
was ended the war in Missouri. 

" But I believe in the resurrection. I 
believe not always will be denied truth 
and justice to General Fremont; will come 
the time — and soon — when the cam- 
paign in Missouri will be known as is in 
reality, well planned, well done, and how 
cruel and unjust it was ended. 

" But is not for me to praise or criti- 
cize his action. My command did serve 
him when to them he could promise an 
honorable and active career ; they will not 



206 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

fail from his side now that every sound of 
battle is banished from their ear forever." 

I wish I could pass over in silence 
the treatment to which the Guard was 
now subjected ; but I cannot undo facts. 
Only those who have experienced the in- 
finite littlenesses of garrison tyranny can 
realize in how many ways they were har- 
assed, and finally deprived of absolute 
necessaries. 

After refusing them pay, rations, or 
forage, it was said they were to be put 
on duty as the Guard to . . This was 
the drop too much, and explains the fol- 
lowing despatch : — 



the story of the guard. 207 

(copy of telegram.) 

" St. Louis, Missouri, 
"November 11, 1861. 
" Maj.-Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, 

" Commanding-in-Chief, 

"Washington, D. C.,— 

" I would regard it as an act of per- 
sonal courtesy and kindness to me, if you 
will order my Body-Guard to remain with 
me, subject to no orders in this depart- 
ment but my own. It is composed of ed- 
ucated and intelligent young men, to whom 
the country and I owe more than the usual 
consideration accorded to the rank and file 
of the army. 

(Signed) "J. C. Fremont, 

"■Maj.-Gen. U. S. A." 



208 the story of the guard. 
(copy.) 

" By Telegraph, 1 1 P. M. 
" Head-quarters of the Army, 
"Washington, Nov. 11, 1861. 
"Major-General J. C. Fremont, — 

" Before receiving your despatch, I had 
given instructions that the cavalry corps, 
known as your Body-Guard, should be 
otherwise disposed of. Official information 
had reached this city that members of that 
body had at Springfield expressed senti- 
ments rendering 1 their continuance in the 
service of doubtful expediency. With ev- 
ery desire to gratify your wishes, I do not 
see exactly how I can violate every rule 
of military propriety. Please reply. 

" Geo. B. McClellan, 

" Com. -in- Chief." 



the story of the guard. 209 

(telegram.) 

" St. Louis, Nov. 12. 
" Major-General Geo. B. McClellan, 

" Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army, — 

" I am not informed of any expression 

of sentiment at Springfield by the cavalry 

known as my Body-Guard, which should 

create a doubt as to the expediency of their 

being 1 retained in the service of the coun- 
ts 

try; while on the contrary the service ren- 
dered by the gallantry of their conduct on 
the 25th October at Springfield justly en- 
titles them to the favorable consideration 
of the government. In view of this fact, 
I request the Commanding General to re- 
consider the case, if any severe measure 
has been directed against them. 

" J. C. Fremont, 
" Major- General TJ. S. A." 

This being unanswerable, remained un- 
answered. 

14 



£10 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Meantime the Guard had the additional 
pain of parting from the horses which had 
shared their hardships and triumphs ; had 
to turn into the quartermaster's department 
the animals they had trained and whose 
wounds they had tended so carefully to 
make them again fit for service. General 
Sturgis was sent to muster them out, and 
whilst waiting for him, Zagonyi had them 
photographed as they stood in front of the 
rough plank-roofed shed which formed their 
quarters. A keen wind is blowing; the 
band have overcoats, but the Guard are 
still without ; some are mounted, for the 
last time ; more than half are on foot. 
General Sturgis, after reviewing them, de- 
clared he could not bring himself to think 
of losing such soldiers, and refused to mus- 
ter them out, asking Zagonyi to wait a 
little until he could carry out a plan for 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. gll 

them. His note shows the flimsiness of 
the pretext for disbanding them. 

" St. Louis, Mo., Not. 27, 1861. 
" Major : — 

" I am directed by the Major- General 

Commanding' to muster the Body -Guard 

out of service; but at the same time he 

authorizes me to say to you that if you 

will raise a regiment (cavalry), retaining 

such officers of the Body-Guard as you 

may think proper, it will be accepted into 

the United States service. 

" I am, Major, 

"Very Respectfully, 

" Your ob'd't serv't, 

" S. D. Sturgis, 

" Brigadier- General U. JS. Vols. 

" To Major Zagonyi, 

" Commanding Body-Guard, 
" St. Louis, Mo." 



212 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Major Zagonyi declined the idea for him- 
self, but submitted the note to the Guard. 
General Sturgis's generous efforts were 
too late. The Guard had borne as much 
as is right for men to bear, and they 
refused unanimously to accept any other 
organization than the one originally en- 
tered on. 

From the time of the General's turning 
over the records, he directed the guard- 
mountinsf before the house to be discontin- 
ued. But although after some repetitions 
the order was obeyed, yet each night I 
heard the old sound of the Guard on 
duty inside the house, and they would 
not discontinue it. The day we left for 
New York, as we came down the steps, 
I saw at once that the Guard was in place 
at the gate, and they flashed their salute 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Q\3 

as the General passed. The countenance 
of one caught my attention, and after we 
were in the carriage both of us noticed 
that in returning his sabre he struck it 
home with his open palm as though ex- 
pressing an intention not again to draw 
it. As he looked up, he saw that we 
were noticing him ; and, coming down to 
the side of the carriage, without a word 
spoken, he drew off the heavy gauntlet 
and laid his open hand within the Gen- 
eral's with such a blended look of dumb 
rage and regret and fidelity as was won- 
derful to see. And this was the end. On 
reaching New York we found this despatch, 
dated "St. Louis, Nov. 28th," (Thanks- 
giving day!) 



214 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" To Major-General Fremont, 
" Astor House : — 

"The Body-Guard was to-day mustered 
out of service. Chas. Zagonyi, 

" Major Comd'g" 



" But the large grief that these enfold 
Is given in outline — and no more." 




XIV 

PAYING GENERAL FREMONT'S MEN. 
(Extract from the Daily Journals.) 

" A bill has been prepared directing the 
Secretary of War to pay off all officers 
and men whose services were accepted 
and actually employed by Major-General 
Fremont, or by the Commanding -Gen- 
eral of Missouri, whether they were regu- 
larly mustered into service or not. It also 
provides that the wounded and disabled of 
such shall draw bounty and pensions, and 
the heirs of the killed draw pay and 
bounty as in other cases. This Mil fully 
provides for the Fremont Body-Guard, and 
relieves the government of the charge of 
injustice" 



216 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

" New York, 

"Dec. 17, 1861. 
" Hon. Charles B. Sedgwick, 
"Washington City, — 

" I have read to-dav of the bill for the 
payment of officers appointed by " Major- 
General Fremont, or by the Commanding 
General of Missouri." I think the bill 
ought not to pass in its present form. 
To meet the many irregular appointments 
in that department, and in the merest 
ordinary justice to the officers who served 
their country thoroughly and well, such a 
bill ought to be passed, but with some 
modifications. Other officers in the West- 
ern Department made appointments under 
pressure of the same necessity that forced 
me to do so. I was sent to the Western 
Department with unrestricted authority, 
which comprehended the power to appoint, 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 21J 

but I judged it safer to make the appli- 
cation which gave me that authority, di- 
rect, ample, and explicit, from the Secre- 
tary at War and the President. The bill 
ought to recognize the fact that the ir- 
regularity — if there was any which could 
render these appointments less legal than 
any others made by the government — 
is justly chargeable upon government, and 
not upon myself acting under its direction. 

" As it now stands the bill carries the 
idea that the interposition of Congress is 
required to prevent my officers from suf- 
fering by my unauthorized acts. Suffer- 
ing, they undoubtedly are. 

" This bill claims further to do away with 
any injustice to the Body-Guard by paying 
them. Their pay is their right, not a 
favor. They were regularly enlisted with 
the usual forms. They rendered good 



218 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

and valuable service from the day of their 
enlistment. They performed one of the 
most gallant acts ever recorded in this or 
any other war. My letter on their behalf 
was not replied to. On the contrary, on 
their return to St. Louis — just after their 
victory — they were treated with marked 
disrespect by the government officials ; re- 
fused forage for their horses, rations for 
themselves, pay or clothing. Instead of 
commendation for merit they were met by 
an order directing them to be disbanded, 
and ' not to be retained in the service of 
the country, for certain sentiments alleged 
to have been expressed by them at Spring- 
field.' This is the injustice of which the 
Guard and their friends complain. It is 
not a question of money, and this bill 
does not remove the charge. 

" For the present I merely wish to call 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. Q1Q 

your attention to this point. Perhaps an 
opportunity will be found to have their 
services recognized hereafter. 

" In regard to the other point of the bill, 
I have to ask that you will endeavor to 
have such amendment made as will suit 
the view I have suggested. 

" It is material to me to have the facts 
of my administration set out distinctly and 
fully from the authentic records. This is 
my first desire. But until I can reach 
this justice, I desire carefully to guard 
against any legislative action which it 
might be difficult to explain afterwards, 
as such is usually held conclusive. 

(Signed) " J. C. Fremont, 

But what could justify (granting the 
pretext against those at Springfield) the 



220 THE STORY OP THE GUARD. 

dismissal of the company who had never 
left St. Louis, and who were guiltless 
of victory or " sentiments " 1 The regu- 
lations require that all charges shall go 
through the officer immediately command- 
ing, — naturally enough, if a fair hearing 
and justice are to be secured. But except 
the vague anonymous say-so repeated by 
General McClellan in his despatch, no 
explanation has ever been made. 



XV. 

" Whate'er success awaits my future life, 
The beautiful is gone — that comes no more." 

And this is the story of the Body- 
Guard. It is not claimed for them that 
they showed a rarer courage than tens of 
thousands of others in this war. But theirs 
was the singular fortune to go to their 
first battle under a cloud of reproach, 
though blameless, and to return from it 
victorious, to the punishment reserved for 
the gravest military offences. They did 
their whole duty and more. They lit up 
the dark war-cloud, further blackened by 
Ball's Bluff, with a lightning ray of 
victory, an earnest of what was to fol- 
low. For this they were dismissed the 



22l2 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

service ; the morning freshness of their love 
of country blighted, and its first offering 
rejected. It is such a grievous sin to 
throw back generous feelings and make 
trust impossible. I dreaded its effect on 
them. But they are proving that deeper 
than any self-love lies love of country. 
Nearly all are again in service. They 
have deserved higher regard than any 
ordinary victory can earn, — for they have 
conquered themselves. 

When there is such a weight of sacri- 
fice and suffering, I trust much apology 
is not needed for my attempt to lessen its 
burden on those to whose assistance this 
little offering is dedicated. 

I think only the wife of a man much 
before the public can fully value the sa- 
credness of home, and make it almost 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

a religion to guard against any profana- 
tion of its sweet security. Born to and 
educated in this feeling in my father's 
house, and confirmed in it by the expe- 
rience of my own home, it has been a 
real sacrifice for me to lay open even 
so small a part of my life. This is un- 
necessary to say to those who know me, 
but as such a vast many more do not, 
and, only seeing what's done, know not 
what's resisted, I beg of them to bear 
this in mind, and not think this attempt 
to relieve suffering more unwomanly or 
less needed than any of the other new 
positions in which women are finding 
themselves during this strange phase of 
our national life. 

The restraints of ordinary times do not 
apply now. How many women — many 
of them rich in the good gifts of youth 



224) THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

and beauty, and charm of mind — min- 
ister daily at the bedsides of men whose 
very names are unknown to them, over- 
coming-, not only their shuddering repug- 
nance to ghastly sights, but the deeper 
instinct of shyness and reserve. They 
can well bear the sneers of those whose 
Decameronish instinct leads them to sit 
apart in pleasant places, and cultivate for- 
getfulness while the angel of death is 
leaving no house unvisited. They have 
" waked to a higher aim : " — they " have 
felt with their native land and are one 
with their kind." 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 225 



List of those Wounded in Action at Spring- 
field, October 25th, 1861. 

Co. A. 

Sergeant Jos. C. Frock, De Witt, Missouri. 

Corporal Philip F. Davis, Belleville, Illinois. 
Corporal Edward H. Deane, St. Louis, Missouri. 
Private C. H. Bowman, St Louis, Missouri. 

Private Frederick Lenderking, St. Louis, Missouri. 
Private A. J. Wisa, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Co. B. 

1st Lieut. W. Westerborg, St. Louis, Missouri. 
1st Lieut. Louis Vansteenkiste, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Corporal J. T. Underwood, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Corporal G. W- Holbrook, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Corporal Louis Winel, Columbia, Illinois. 

Private John Frank, St. Louis, Missouri. 

Co. C. 

1st Lieut. Jos. M. Kennedy, Covington, Kentucky. 

2d Lieut. James Goff, Carbondale, Pennsylvania. 

Sergeant Charles H. Hunter, Hamilton Co., Ohio. 

Private Henry M. Diggins, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Private William C. Williams, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Private Daniel G. Jones, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

15 



226 THE STORY OF THE GUARD. 

Private Benjamin T. Haebler, Clermont Co., Ohio. 

Private Allen Purdy, Covington, Kentucky. 

Private C. W. Moore, Broome Co., Ohio. 

Private P. M. Murphy, Canada. 

Private William Haskell, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Private Robert Lee, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Private J. E. Day, Hamilton Co., Ohio. 

Two of the Prairie Scouts, whose names 
I have at present no means of ascertain- 
ing - , were killed in the charge, and buried 
with the dead of the Guard. 

The Prairie Scouts are still in service, 
and entitled to all the rewards which the 
country gives to its soldiers ; what they 
did on the field is already chronicled, and 
their young commander is winning con- 
tinued distinction in the West. But the 
Guard, having been dismissed the ser- 
vice, can receive no pension ; and for 
them there is no other reward than 
the consciousness of duty well done. I 



THE STORY OF THE GUARD. QQJ 

have fallen far short of my hope to do 
them justice, — giving up the attempt to 
individualize, as I found the truth of 
Zagonyi's words, " that all was worthy 
of mention." 



THE END. 



TROOPER'S DEATH. 

Words and Music translated and arranged from the German. 




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2 Thou springing grass, that art so green, 
Shall soon he rosy red, I ween, 

My Wood the hue supplying! 
I drink the first glass, sword in hand, 
To him who for the Fatherland 
Lies dying! 

3 Now quickly comes the second draught, 
And that shall be to freedom quaffed 
While freedom's foes are flying! 

The rest, Land! our hope and faith! 
We'd drink to thee with latest breath, 
Though dying ! 

4 My darling! — ah, the glass is out! 
The bullets ring, the riders shout — 
No time for wine or sighing ! 

There ! bring my love the shivered glass, 
Charge! on the foe! no joys surpass 
Such dying!